13 December 2011

Going Back

I had the opportunity this weekend to go back. My sister was up in Seattle for a work conference, so I drove up Saturday night to spend the evening and next day with her. We grew up there, in that rich green city, when the focus was on planes rather than computers; we skinned our knees and rode bikes surrounded by rain and saltwater and moss.

Seattle felt both different and the same; it is, as always, a city in transition. Sometimes, a city block has undergone such significant change that I become disoriented, losing almost entirely my sense of place and direction. Landmarks disappear, new ones appear, and I feel lost until there is that brief view of water, or mountains, or a familiar intersection, and focus returns.

I know where I am, but not exactly. I think that that coffee shop is just over there, but look, there is a new one. I thought that this street went all the way through, oh no it doesn't. I guess I'll take a different way.

C. and I spent Sunday just walking around, lazily, like we did when we were twentysomethings, when weekend time waited to be filled with conversations, revelations, and trips to bookstores. There were occupy protests and coffee-drinkers; lots of people in layers and Christmas shoppers. And among them were the two of us, talking about the past, present, and future, and being glad to be together.

You can't go home again, so they say, and it is especially strange when home feels like a moving target, a constantly changing kaleidoscope of gray and green and water. But being with my sister always feels like home, and being in a Seattle that feels like my life at its beginning, and not, all at the same time, that felt like home, too.

So maybe you can go back, maybe you can go home again, because home is people, and places, and moments. Home is where you find it. Home is always there, if you are willing to settle in.

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