On the Road, again

Hi friends – 

It’s been a minute. Over three months full of minutes actually, since I last wrote. 

For the last seven weeks, Jeremy and I have been road tripping around seeing (and hugging, laughing, crying and generally enjoying three dimensional, offline reality with) friends and family for the first time since  B.C. (Before Covid) times. 

Our six year old niece, who only knows her Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Nessy as mythical beings who land every now and then in her New York home for magical bursts of fun, as a “traveling family.” As someone who loves novelty, variety and adventure and identifies more as a resident of this planet, more than any particular address on it, I like this identity.

But I also love (and miss) being where my mail lands. I miss being where I have a closet full of clothes and cabinets full of dishes and walls full of art I’ve chosen and love. I long to be back in a place we have roots, literally in our yard with a year of actively creating and tending quarantine gardens and metaphorically all over the Bay Area after twenty years building chosen family, community and context. 

Today, for the first time since this traveling family of ours left California at the beginning of July, we will point our little car Westward, rather than East, and begin our journey back home. 

Or one home anyway. 

Because the truth is, this journey has brought back many pieces of home I’ve felt far from over the last disorienting year and half or so. 

Over the last seven weeks I’ve felt home return to me over and over again… 

…while holding my niece close, while she giggles in my face

…while walking with my nephew in an Indiana thunderstorm while he shares how complex it is to figure out who you are in this world 

….while laughing until my face hurts with my college friends who still live nearby our Massachusetts undergrad campus 

…while sitting around a piano that my uncle is playing, with many members of my extended family singing songs I’ve been harmonizing with since childhood 

…while sitting in my niece’s bunk bed/makeshift office for the day, opening up my laptop and seeing a client’s face who I’ve worked with for years 

…while crying and dancing and crying some more with my in-laws and friends when we were finally able to gather together to grieve and celebrate the life of my brother-in-law Jim who died earlier this year

…while sitting in our small car with my sweetie who even after driving for hours and hours and hours, and being together for two decades, still makes up little songs about me under his breath. 

…while I wake up in yet another new place and take a breath, long, slow, deep and intentional and feel my own body start to stretch and move and find her rhythm once more. 

All of these places, and moments outside of place, feel like home – even when the context and circumstances are swirling around in ways that leave me unsure of place or time. 

One of my life mottos, seen originally on a bumper sticker, is “If you lived in your body, you’d be home by now.” Perhaps, while I’m here, and maybe even, beyond, there’s always a chance to feel at home. 

What is connecting you to home these days I wonder?

Loving you,

Vanessa

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