Summer’s swinging in after a long and barren spring, which wasn’t much of a season in Wisconsin, like always.
There is a warmer sun that can border on hot on a given day, breeze off the lake that stalls the scorch. Beds of lilac bushes burst in fragrance and color, the routine bloom that comes around my birthday.
I am finishing my move into the lower flat in a neighborhood atop a hill in my favorite harbor town. A space I never imagined, I have carefully constructed the insides to bring color and comfort—National Anthem and Free Sky blues in the living room, buttercream honey yellow across the kitchen.
When I cross the threshold, slip to my porch in the early morning, my eyes migrate immediately to the sprawl of Lake Michigan gleaming like one majestic jewel against the sky.
This is my view.
Who am I to receive such a gift?
Kansas City and its jazz, barbeque and battle remnants of growth within me still reside in my rearview mirror. It’s hard to believe it has been seven months since my tires rolled through Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois to find their way back to Wisconsin, to the house of my childhood, to family, to a new season, new job, new life to forge, including a new home to call my own.
I still cannot believe this is the direction of my life.
Back where I fought so hard to stay away.
Back to the moments, ways and prayers that made me part of who I am today.
Back with burst dreams and difficult beginnings.
// Though you return to a place, a memory, people, have you ever really gone away?
The senses, words spoken, emotions spread through your bloodstream, it’s all still there, swirling in your past, pointing to your present.
Though I have traveled thousands of miles, dug my faith deeper and cracked open the skin of new soul, I have found my way back to land familiar, lanes shaded with crab apple trees and dips of gravel and pavement broken from years of wear. Though I am back to my hometown, after fighting to free myself from its constriction as I forged a life in Kansas City, here at the edge of the water I realize I never truly had rid it from my body, from my history. It was always still a part of me, even in learning the ways of a city smack dab in the middle of the country, it sat dormant, this quiet call for simple, as I pushed it to the farthest pieces of my mind.
I tried to be free of the town and people that raised me up, to be my own person. And I am, in gentle and needed ways. But I am also still tethered to the small towns with young and old lined up along the street for Memorial Day parades, for walking through the grocery store and someone calling my name. //
How I’ve missed the sound of my name from the tongue of someone familiar.
Listen to the way they speak, to the way they welcome you again.
I cannot go back, but I can bring forth what I have become. In ways I was too stubborn to recall, maybe a part of me is returning that has long been forgotten. The girl who ran through fields and marveled at the beauty of long grass billowing in the breeze. The girl who held wonder in her hands, believed the best in everyone and was not afraid to imagine incredible things. Who hoped with heart wide open, and refused to let the world and its troubles beat her down.
I am glad for the salt on my skin, tan arms and light that has come back to my eyes. I am glad to roll the windows down while I drive the highway, let the air course through the car, ruffle my hair. Feel that what has already happened may just be a precursor for what is to come.
Sometimes we need to return to where we came to remember where we will go.
Continuing my attempt at the Five Minute Friday weekly writing challenge. Five minutes to write on the assigned topic. Raw and unedited. (Yikes!) This week’s topic: Return. // symbolizes where five minutes started and/or stopped.
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