For the first time in a long time, I’m homesick. I miss sunshine and sandy beaches, spicy Mexican food under meandering branches of oak and feeding tortilla chip bits to seemingly endless streams of scavenging songbirds. I long for sea breezes and late night bonfires replete with guitars, off key singing, marshmallows on unwound wire hangers and thick Mexican blankets. It’s an ache that persists, not because now it’s wintry and snowy (I honestly rather adore that) or because California outdoes Minnesota somehow. I have no regrets, no ice-induced angst. I simply miss home, and I need to go reconnect to my family, my beloved friends, my previous selves.
For the first time, I think, it’s a healthy longing. I’m not pretending to myself that I’ll go back and slip into my old life as though nothing ever happened. It’s taken me nearly 10 years to accept that that simply can’t happen, that life has gone on and I no longer have a space there – everyone’s lives and stories have continued and expanded into the place I once occupied, and this is a good thing. Truly, this is some of what I’m longing to see – the lovely ways their lives have gone on, have grown, and who these gorgeous ones have become. To be granted that window – framed in hugs and good food – feels like a tremendous gift. And it’s one I’m longing to open.