In deep denial...
I have procrastinated and postponed and waited and held off. I don't want to face the facts, to tell the truth, to 'fess up. But here goes:
I'm home. Back from Spain. From yet another adventure across the sea.
(Let me take a moment here to suggest that I might very well have the best husband in the world. Well, he's certainly the best husband I have ever had. He is also the only husband I will ever have... but that's a story for a whole 'nother post. I have the only husband that I know of who that buys tickets for his wife to travel. Some of you may think it is because he wants me to go away, and perhaps you are right. But even if that is the case, not many husbands who claim to want to get rid of their wives actually buy the ticket! Anyway, back to my darling husband, Steve: he buys the airline ticket, plans activities for me to do overseas, and then also plans special activities for himself and the children here at home. Yes, he takes time off from work to hang out with the kids. Yes, he's a keeper. Definitely a keeper.)
I returned to Charlotte Douglas Airport late Monday night to the smiles and hugs of my hubby and children. Bright and early on Tuesday morning, still under the influence of Madrid's timezone, I got up and wandered around the house. I swept the kitchen floor. I cleaned a few toilets. I folded some laundry and put it away. I organized the homeschool table. I made myself a cup of coffee (with grounds I had brought back from Madrid) and sat down at the kitchen table to journal - in my travel journal.
This is a self-portrait: reading and journaling at a gem of a cafe in Madrid.
I did the same thing on Wednesday morning: up early, cup of Spanish coffee, journaling in the travel journal. On both days, I spent inordinate amounts of time calculating what I was doing a week or two ago at the same time. I read my journal entries for those days, trying to re-place myself in the scenarios I inhabited back then and over there.
These two photos are indicative of the way I carry myself in Spain. In public, when others look at me or take a photo of me, I am collected and calm and serene.
When I am by myself, I am laughing and smiling and trying to capture how great I feel in my reflection in the mirrors of closed shops.
Here is a question I often ask myself: What is it about Spain that causes me such joy, that heals me, that recenters me? After 23 years of visiting there (and nearly that many visits) I still do not have an articulate answer to that question.
Yesterday morning, it hit me. I was in denial. My body is here at home. But my soul hasn't caught up yet; I'm experiencing what Nikki Hardin, publisher of Skirt magazine, aptly named "soul lag."
flying home, starting over,
having soul lag, waiting for it
to catch up with my body, the
dislocation of being Here There
Somewhere Nowhere, of being
between heaven and earth, of
flying and landing and waiting
and taking off and going in
circles, when every new wait-
ing room is filled with middle
of the night regrets and yester-
day's news and strangers and
you're a stranger too, flying
so far you break the barrier of
your own fear, flying so high
no one can reach you, flying
home and learning to kiss the
ground I step on every day.
Last night, I decided it was time to put the travel journal up on the shelf and pull out the regular, every day, "this is my life" journal. No regrets. No deep sighs. No resentments. Resolve. Gratitude. Peace.
Here's how my typical re-placing myself fantasies go: This past Wednesday morning, I replayed last Wednesday morning's events in my mind as I sat at the breakfast table. For the next several Wednesday mornings, when I sit down to breakfast, I will replay that moment in my mind.
Last Wednesday morning, September 16th, I sat in a cafe in Valladolid, Spain, with one of my dearest friends in the world, and a song came on the radio that had as one of its most repeated phrases, "This is home." As I sat there, nursing that perfectly brewed cup of coffee (see photo above), eating a grilled croissant with apricot jam (why don't croissants get split and grilled face down here!!!???), tears sprang immediately to my eyes. It was true: "This is home."
At that moment, at that table, and again at this moment, at this table, I declare to myself: There is to be no more living in denial. I choose to live in truth. Here is one of the deepest truths of my life: this place, wherever I am sitting or standing, right here and right now, wherever I am, I can be at peace, trusting in the divine timing and providence of God.
Wherever these meandering feet and this wandering soul go,
right then and there, right here and now, this is home.
PS. There's also the minor issue of having fallen in love again...