I recently traveled to Arkansas to visit my family over spring break. I think I managed to hold on to good, and bring some good with me as well. My mom and I had good space together and I just let myself behave as though the relationship we have is one that is grounded in love. We shopped together, we were silly together, and mostly I ignored the parts that didn’t support the narrative I wanted to craft for our week. It also helped that I scheduled my time so that I had chunks of quality time with her, but also chunks of time with other people I love and miss too.
I think I brought a sense of acceptance for where we are and a commitment to craft something positive from our trip home no matter what might unfold there. I am pleased to say much of the trip was positive. Now I am back in Florida and the good I am holding on to from the trip is one of rituals, connection, and a sense of home being in Florida.
The rituals included a Passover Seder with chosen family and friends. We drank wine, we spoke of liberation, we ate matzo, and we laughed. The connection to the Boston Mountains and the Ozark region is still really strong with me. I had the opportunity to experience a freak hail storm, to bless my hands, feet, and crown in a waterfall, and to put my feet (and heart) on the rocky soil of my home land.
Edward Sharpe really nailed it when he sang, “home is whenever I’m with you.” This trip with my daughter was wonderful and often this song makes me think of her. This time though it really made me think of the self I have created since my move. I took her back to Arkansas with me and my experience was better for it.
I missed Florida. I missed the explosion of green, the buzz of work in my congregation, and the simple act of sitting on my screened porch with my dog and a good cup of organic coffee from my french press.