Homecoming

home·com·ing:
 
1.
  an instance of returning home.
My Amazon sunset photo. Autumn Mountains.

For many years, I felt homeless. Thankfully not in the living-under-a-bridge sense, but disconnected to any particular spot on this globe. I suspect the reason was that I spent the school year in a big city in one state, then carted the children to a rural environment for the summers. I knew we’d move to our “summer state” eventually, so think I subconsciously avoided sinking deep roots. (And before you make assumptions, I contributed heavily to our income, although my work was portable.)

And so it went.

Last weekend, I accompanied our youngest on a grad-school visit. I enjoyed a beautiful break in the Sonoran desert and watched her conduct herself with polish, grace, and intellectual style. The time was fulfilling on many levels, although tiring because meetings, presentations, and constant immersion among high-energy people were a far cry from my mountaintop hermitage.

During the final descent on our way back, the Rocky Mountains came into view. Peaks were already dusted with snow, and patches of fiery orange and vivid yellow aspen sparkled jewel-like on the slopes. We smiled at each other, knowing we were happy to return.

“It’s good to be home,” she said.

Her comment stunned me because I realized that this was home — familiar, welcoming, embracing. “Funny. I haven’t felt at home in years,” I replied.

“Me either.” She looked out the oval window. “But this suits me. And you.”

My soundtrack since this conversation has been a favorite song, Kenny Loggins’ Please Celebrate Me Home (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWge0KIhkoE). It reminds me of Thanksgiving and Christmas, the first pot of chili cooked all day in the double boiler, crackling aspen leaves underfoot during fall hikes. The lyrics articulate my “homecoming epiphany” on the plane.

I’m here. At last. I’m home again.

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