I was so convinced I needed a break. A mini-vacation, to vent and decompress. I had no idea I’d end up coming back early, so desperate for my home. I love Colorado, but there are so many memories there. So much anxiety in this trip, an emotional tug-of-war with my strength dangling over a yawning pit. Too vulnerable, too judged. Missing my mom more than ever. It was time to come home.
I’ll miss my dad’s hugs. I’ll miss my sisters’ faces, the laughter and silliness of my niece and nephew. Feeling my mother’s warmth through the little reminders around her house. Coffee with old friends. Photography lessons and amazing conversation with someone I’m blessed to know. Curious looks and sheepish smiles from his children. The mountains looming on the horizon. The sensation of roots; dug deeply into the rocky clay soil, where my life began.
The 15 hour drive home alone was a self-imposed test of endurance. I’ve never driven that far by myself before, especially not while struggling with my anxiety, but I managed to roll into our driveway in one piece last night. Sore, exhausted and sunburned- but I was home.
It’s amazing how green it is here. Everything is alive, even the highway medians are thick with grass and flowers. Humidity curling my hair and beading up on my skin. Warping wood, moss and vines trailing from trees. History in almost every building, generations of lives staining its floorboards. Tractors on the roads and thick fog rolling out of the woods at night. The smell of burning wood. Wide porches, widow-walks and barns older than our grandparents.
I missed familiarity. I missed my husband’s ability to calm all my fears just by wrapping me in his arms, feeling him asleep beside me at night. My children’s light and their love. I missed watching the goats eat the landscaping and our fat red rooster running through the tall grass. The broken leather of the old recliner I sit in on our porch. The light filtering through our kitchen window in slanted rectangles of warmth. I missed peace, which my anxiety so relies on to remain at bay. Routine and rest, all with a symphony of frog-song and happily quacking ducks as a backdrop. I missed feeling that I’m exactly where I belong, safe from animosity. My bubble, my sanctuary, my home.
Colorado will always be my beginning. There are people very precious to me there, and I will always return. But Michigan lets my creativity run wild and nurtures that lifelong draw to everything green and growing. It’s given me life just as sure as if I was born here, by providing the means to live exactly how we always dreamed. Possibility reflected back in a raindrop and mirrored in every blade of grass. My home gives me my wings.