Yes, I have gained a few pounds and yes there is a lot more TV and sugar in our lives. The wine gives me headaches and I miss the days when Prosecco was affordable enough to drink whenever I felt like it and not just for a special occasion. I am spending more money than usual and my son has experienced the pleasures of head lice, early vaccinations (and all at once), soccer in the pouring rain, the true American experience of a “lockdown” drill and, since this is Washington, an earthquake drill, too.
The livin’ is easy.
The salmon are jumping
and the rivers are high.
I see The Sound and a lone gray heron
So, hush, little baby, no need to cry
I can’t lie to you. I am relishing my time here. The mountain, the salmon, the sunrises, the funky, socially responsible and concerned people, the grass-fed bison, oh and the libraries! YUM. I love them so. I’m stuffing myself with inspiring text, cookbooks, audio books, and DVDs. We’re watching Eloise, The Muppet Show, and Free to Be You and Me on the big screen from bed on Saturday mornings. So much inspiration, information and entertainment at my fingertips! And free! What? Online holds and renewal?? Are you kidding me?? I will miss the libraries the most. Cheap movie day is also pretty tasty. How I miss seeing movies on the big screen in English. Not to mention, the theater: Charlie Brown’s Christmas on the stage and The Nutcracker, of course. I am…stuffing myself.
But, it’s not just the superficial stuff; how I have missed connecting with people the way I have these few months. Granted, I am making an effort, but people are REALLY interesting and so beautiful. I see so much more vulnerability than I used to see and that translates to humanness. It is refreshing that some people are so willing to show me who they are.
I’ve been working, subbing in the schools and feeling Confidence pulling itself to it’s feet. It says, in a low, slow, satisfied tone, “I’ve still got it. They want me. They really want me.” I feel restored and “better than before”. I’ve even gone to church and its in English, of course! What a difference that makes, but moreover, what a difference it makes to be able to choose between spiritual communities, to find one that actually fits. In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, I had a place to go where I could be reminded of the good in the world. I have felt deeply moved by the words spoken, the authenticity of the congregation, the familiar music sung, the kindness and love of humanity, the feeling that I belong just because I am there.
It’s like I’ve got an American bucket list, things I’ve been longing to do before the person-I-used-to-be died, before kids grow up, before people I love die, before things change so much that I will no longer have a place to come “home” to.
I feel lighter now. Like something was stuck, clogging me up, and now I’m free. So, will I go back?? Absolutely. It was me, Italy, not you. Home is in me.
I will greet her openly, lovingly, tenderly. I will put my feet on her ground and light it up. I am home. I am home. I am home.