This weekend has confirmed for me a lot of things: we have casual, good friends here in town, and there is plenty to do with time here, and there are still so many more good projects to be a part of as the town builds itself into a great place to live. I’ve never felt more connected here, more like we’re getting something done by being a part of this community.
And at the same time, all I can think about are other places. I think about Madrid, where I was able to build a community from pretty much no connections to my past life, where I loved and cared for people who were also far from home and where people who grew up in another culture cared for and loved me. I think about my husband’s home town, sitting on my in-laws back porch by the bear-proof bird feeder and the way that spot makes me feel when it is early morning and I’m still in pajamas. I think about how so much family has clustered there, how they bend over backwards to help each other but also just to enjoy each other, to sit around campfires together.
It is so strange to be torn between good options – for so much of my life, I’ve thought that none of the places could be home, except maybe my college town, and now many places remind me how home they have been to me. I don’t know what the future holds or where we might go, but I know that this place has grown on me in the two years we’ve been here – our two year anniversary with the house is this week. I also know that the meaning of nearby family has grown on me, and the meaning of city life and excitement and Spanish and their deep loyalty to those they love… it has all grown on me.
My maps never were very tidy, but these days in particular, I feel like the star for where I am is so entwined with the stars for where I have been. “You are here.” But also “Your heart is here” and “Your mind is here” and “Your friends are there” and “your family is over there.” What a map, and what a life choice it is to be a person in one place.