It feels like I’ve been home forever. Which is fairly ridiculous, given that over the past four months my “home” has been stacked up and drifted two thousand miles west like a continent. But the thing is, a mega grocery mart in California is a mega grocery mart in Minnesota. Traffic and English and ease and the relatively familiar are the same here as they are there as they would be anywhere in these 50 states, more or less. By which I mean that my feet remain restless, my heart is ready for something truly different.
When my father turned 60 this spring, I said: Let’s do something big. And, where in the world do you want to go? Northern India, he said and so I’ll fly to meet him and my brother in Delhi and seven or eight days later, just about the time we have moved through Rajasthan and also from delighting in each other to murdering each other, C. will join us as a very welcomed distraction for the next two weeks north by northeast. And maybe a little south? It’s hard to say. There are few plans and four sets of vibrant, detailed day dreams and I cannot wait to see where the compromises will take us.
So in a few days, I’ll zip up my backpack and do that bend and swing - that favorite hoisting up and over, after which everything you need (more than you need, really) is carried on your back. Under your own steam power. And there are no laptops or telephones, little vanity and few tethers home.
It’s hard not to grin while I write this and so I’ve stopped trying. I never feel completely at home here, you know? I think these feet were legitimately built to wander. It’s been 18 months since the last big trip to Colombia and that probably doesn’t seem like very long, but it’s a bit like holding my breath. Out there - anywhere - is the big exhale. Better, even, the big inhale. Out there, I feel my best self rise back up. Calm back down. I find myself again and my place - in a far backseat to the other 6,999,999,999 people in the world and what they’ve carried and what their parents carried and the thousands of glorious years of battles and faith and ruin and heritage and culinary ingenuity and victory and pilgrimage and uprising that nip me down to only this: Insignificance and Blessing.
How lucky we are that the world is this big, that we might never reach it all.
I can hardly sleep at night thinking of the colors and the pace, the spice and the noise, learning the melody of a city I don’t understand. Watching a thousand miles of your countryside roll by like ribbons, like filmstrips. Catch me up, I’ll yell! Just praying the world will comply, just waiting to be overwhelmed. And I’ll memorize everything I can so that one day, when we are very much back home. Weighed down by the glories and the weariness of this domestic life, I can pull that packet out and wrap myself in its colors like peace.