Every amazing adventure has an end and it always ends the same way: the bag is packed with sandy flip flops and all the laundry, the last sunset has faded, the pineapple is eaten, and now the taxi waits and my heart aches.
We spent the last day on the beach, looking for crabs, collecting a small vial of sand to add to the collection, and pushing away thoughts of what we might do tomorrow if we didn’t have to go. I took fifty “one last” photos and imprinted every step of the walk through the jungle from the beach to the road, especially the part where the Bearded Dragon scurried up the tree and watched us walk past with its huge, unmoving eye.
Of course, I want to go home, but I also want to stay and keep rolling through the leisurely mornings and the heart-pounding fun and the quiet nights where no one talks to me but the cycads and the mosquitos.
And the heartache is an eternal one for me - here is not there, and there is not here. I want both all the time. What a magical and blessed thing to feel like it’s a homecoming in every direction. To arrive to a place I’ve never been and fling my arms open and say, HELLO, I’VE MISSED YOU, WHAT’S YOUR NAME?
But the transition from Here to There remains a painful one. Both coming and going has too many goodbyes and I’m not at all good at those. We are home now and what I miss the most is the deeper part of me I get to know when I’m away. Time is expansive and thoughts flow freely, and I jump off internal cliffs into serene pools and for once I don’t judge the dive. And I never imagine that anyone else judged it either.
Life at home is messy and loud and nonstop. It is fraught with all kinds of self-imposed shoulds and woulds. It holds its own kind of joy and adventure, but I am the master at complicating things and making it harder than it has to be. The real work here at home is in laying down the baton more often, and finding the new path that leads to the beach. And when the day is dawning on another routine day, to still climb up a cliff and jump into the deepest pool I can find where my own band of judges can’t find me. To find the part of life here that is as pure and blessed in every direction as it is there. Where I feel home in exactly the same way, wherever I land.