Returning from a weekend away, I exited from the interstate and began the six miles of decidedly straight road to our home town. It was during this six miles that I had a singular and sudden moment of revelation.
I love moments of quiet that allow some warm truth to slip inside my consciousness. I find these moments occurring most often when I am still and slightly tired–perhaps it has something to do with my active, monkey mind taking a bit of a hiatus. My monkey was tired and beginning to snooze in her cage.
The town in which I call home is not exactly a place I would choose. I have committed to stay due to circumstances surrounding my divorce, namely the fact that it affords me the tremendous opportunity to raise my five-year-old. She has both parents in the same vicinity–lucky kid. However, when I think of my personal homing device, this city has never met that criteria. In fact, had circumstances been different, I am quite certain I would have left three years ago.
But life being what it is, I am here.
For now, I belong here.
Returning to the familiarity of this town and the house we call home brought about an unexpected sense of comfort yesterday. This Idaho city has its treasures that continue to yield themselves to me when I am present enough to notice–much like the sky’s offerings, I suppose.
Belonging takes time.
It took longer than a week for the aloof baristas at my favorite coffee shop to learn my name and begin preparing my drink before I order. I learned by experience that Miracle Hot Springs in Hagerman is closed every Sunday. Rock Creek Park has multiple entrances, each interesting and worth an investigative run. My neighbor’s offering of ripe tomatoes on a shared fence post is one way of apologizing for his being “helpful” with Round Up. Clarence Bisbee was a visionary. Basque bread is a delicious anomaly. An unexpected dinner guest can change your life. Sometimes fresh basil, warm tomatoes, mozzarella and friends are all you need. I look forward to more of these discoveries.
I have come to realize that the old adage, “Wherever you go, there you are” holds pretty steady. What I mean is that you make your life wherever you are, at that particular moment. I continue to learn to expand both my literal and figurative horizons here in this town. Because it is not the location I would choose to raise Emma, the hunt for richness has taken a different effort. However, the rewards, I believe, (perhaps due to their nature of being hard-won) are more surprising and perhaps fulfilling.
I would not have learned this lesson had I moved.
I would be busy discovering how well I fit into a chosen landscape, instead.
Learning to thrive in an environment that one finds less than ideal holds potential, I believe, for thriving anywhere.
I take great comfort in this realization.