A Reason to Go is to Come Home Again

pansies and palms

This week, I escaped the crazy-cold of Connecticut. Yes, those are pansies now in bloom in Florida. Although mostly my hours were spent in a windowless conference room, between meetings I practically skipped around the artificial lake outside the hotel. Giddily, I marveled at the bold birds, the flowers, being in shirt sleeves, feeling warm. For 3 days, I went sock-less!

heron

Beyond the thrill of feeling like a prairie dog popping my head out of this veritable tunnel of winter, this was an exercise in stepping out of my comfort zone. I live my life mostly within a 30 mile radius. Driving to work takes me less than 15 minutes. This trip reminded me that if we get out of practice we can lose important life navigating skills and risk becoming timid, even fearful.

I hadn’t been on a plane since taking Molly to England almost 10 years ago. After smiling back at the flight attendants, I rounded the corner to see that mine was a little plane with only 4 seats across. My heart started beating double time. This narrow tube of metal would be flying up into the clouds and taking me to Florida? I disappeared into my book rather than peer out the window at the disappearing winter-scape, rather than think of the increasing distance between me and land. I wondered to myself, since when am I afraid of flying?

streetlight and sun

Once, I considered myself a traveler but for many years, I’ve lived closely within my routine. I love my routine, my family, my bed! After too many years of living in chaos, I appreciate the predictability of it all – cherish the feeling of being relatively safe. But this little get-away – even just to a distant hotel room on an all-expense paid work trip, refreshed me and reminded me of the joys of stepping away.

gull

Winter paralyzes me and this one has been particularly brutal here in the Northeast. Some weekends, I’ll only leave the house to walk the dog around the block. At least now I have the excuse of winter, but honestly, I rarely venture far anymore, even when the weather is fine. It’s pitiful how infrequently I take the train into New York City – a regular commute for much of this community. Even if it’s just to realize that I want to BE in the place I AM, I need to do this more often.

boats on sound winter

Look at this frigid landscape. This is where we launch our kayak from in summer. In winter I rarely  make the 5 minute drive down here to gaze out at the horizon, to watch the boats. The same boats that headed out to work yesterday, fishing or clamming on the Sound. This is their routine.

It’s good to be home again – and that alone is reason to go somewhere: to fall in love again, with where I am – winter and all.

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7 Responses to A Reason to Go is to Come Home Again

  1. dianeprokop says:

    Sometimes I think that you’re looking inside my brain and writing about my life. Another beautiful essay, Tricia.

  2. I cannot imagine a more perfect title for this post! Though I have been traveling more in the past 10 years than in my younger years, I too love the feeling of returning — to my small rural town, to my small and comfy home and to my daily routines. As Diane Prokop wrote in her response, I too often feel that you’re peeking “inside my brain” when you write your posts. As always, thank you Tricia.

  3. As I contemplate returning to the US (in six months) after over three years living abroad, this is exactly the feeling that I am so anticipating. Living in a place that is not your own leaves you with a perennial imbalance somewhere deep. It will be so sweet to feel myself at home again. Lovely post!

  4. I very much enjoyed reading this blog about warm weather and how good it is to return home. I’ve got your proposal printed out finally and am looking forward to reading it during spring break next week. I am so sorry I’ve been so lax on this.

  5. dalma heyn says:

    I have only one question, Tricia. How did you manage to go to Warmth without even once CONSIDERING your frozen friend (that would be me) here at the beach? I can’t understand it.

  6. Tricia says:

    Dalma – I always consider my frozen friend and what lovely views you have of your frozen beach! xx

  7. Lea Sylvestro says:

    Oh, it was a wonderfully balmy little breeze just to look at your pictures! Idyllic! I DO think of you as a traveler after reading your book and was stunned to read you hadn’t flown in so long. Interesting how life’s phases can be so radically different. You were not just a traveler, you ventured into dangerous places many would avoid. I’m glad you had a Florida respite (we’re sneaking there in a week too!) and that you’re content and snug at home. XO

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