I'm home. Or, I'm back in the apartment that holds all of my stuff. Nope, home is where your mom is, so, I'm home.
Goodness, do I love Orcas Island.
I had a wonderful trip. I got to go to church with the old people who harbored me when I lived there; I got to take a yoga class with my teacher; I got to spend three and half days in a row with Jeffrey, one of my favorite people in the whole world; I didn't cry once; I got to kayak out to Yellow Island and see all the wildflowers in bloom; I got to canoe in a tippy boat with a dog and scare myself witless on the way to Doe Island to lie on a blanket in the sun with only the ocean, the grass around my head and the sky in my line of sight; I got to make junk art T-shirts; I got to package some mint that grew in Jeffrey's garden that I had harvested and hung up to dry before I left; I got to shop at the Exchange; I got to eat huge meals after all activities; I got to drink some of Jeffrey's blackberry and rose petal wine; I got to let my body wake me up in the morning; I got to soak in the new beautiful hot tubs at Doe Bay and steam in the new sauna; this means I got to be naked while outdoors.
A perfect vacation.
I also got to sit with my friend, Tom, who somehow discerned my hidden thoughts when I gave him halting answers to the questions, "How is Illinois?" and "What's it like to be back?" He answered for me: "It's hard that there are so few opportunities here." I was so grateful that he understood the conflict inside of me that I spilled out the rest of the thought that could have just stayed unsaid, "I could live off of the money that I would make here, but I would be bored by the work that I was given to do."
So, the I'll-have-a-beautiful-hippy-baby-and-dress-her-in-mismatched-clothes-from-the-Exchange-and-cloth-diapers-and-settle-into-a-domestic-life-with-a-garden-and-some-chickens-canning-food-for-the-winter-and-quilting fantasy is rearing its little ragamuffin head. A beautiful hippy baby would certainly give me purpose and give resolution to some decisions that I have yet to make. My friend Rachel pulls it off and seems really happy.
It's a fantasy that I can't pursue right now. I sense big things looming out ahead of me and they'll always be there, irritating my peripheral vision if I don't give my journey some time to bring them into clearer view. I need to live in Chicago for awhile and see if I can apply some of the lessons I've learned about community rather than jump back to the safety of being a perpetual student of life.
As much as I hate it a lot of the time. As ugly as my surroundings are. As much as I feel lost, not knowing what direction I'll find a sense of purpose. The good actually overwhelms the bad and only the knowledge that the surface beauty of the island is so tantalizingly close to my life makes the bad stand out so starkly in relief.
It was a great vacation. I'm working now to bring it with me to work tomorrow morning. Last week did not get any better after I had to look deeply into my own arm. I sent out a plea to my face-to-face friends before I left to fill my time when I got back and most of them have responded, for which I'm grateful.
Sarah exhorts us to take the peace of our hearts that we gained in our practice of yoga with us as we use what we have practiced in the rest of life.
springtime eggs and planning ahead - We are so happy to be back in the land of egg abundance! Really, it's such a gift when the hens start laying so prolifically and frittata, quiche, custards...