The days are beginning to lengthen now, as the light struggles to remain for one or two minutes longer each evening, yet we are also entering what can be the most difficult time of winter. The holidays are long past, and spring is not yet on the horizon. We’ve grown tired of battling the weather—spending hours putting warm clothes on and taking them off, shoveling and digging out, cleaning off our cars, trying to balance ourselves and our cold coffee as we inch our way along icy walkways. We’re tired of being cold, isolated, and surrounded by the gray of February.
Yet for me, this time of isolation—of relative quiet and solitude—also provides the opportunity to reflect. I find myself asking, why did I choose to come here when I left the Rocky Mountains six months ago? Was I longing to return home, to be near the lake that has provided comfort to me since I was a small child? Was I hoping to find that child and finally help her heal? Was I simply trying to escape my own unhappiness? I still don’t know the answer, but by sitting with the questions, I am growing more comfortable with the uncertainty.
While I feel I have landed safely after all of the personal and professional upheaval of the last few years, I don’t yet know if I have found where I belong. Sometimes that realization exhausts me. I have moved twice in two years. My desire was to put down roots here, to find community, to live peacefully. Yet there are times when our desires don’t manifest into reality, no matter how much we may want them to, or how hard we try. Sometimes events outside of our control suddenly shift our entire perspective, and ‘home’ no longer feels safe and warm and welcoming. We may need to broaden our definitions, to look not only within ourselves and to our immediate surroundings, but beyond the borders we once thought of as home.
After all, it is a big planet, and there is so much of it I have yet to explore.