A Farewell to Home and Vacation

This morning I packed my bags and marveled at how I had come home with half a carry on bag full of clothes and was leaving with a huge checked suitcase and a very full carry on bag. I said goodbye to the snow and hugged my family goodbye, and hopped on board a plane packed with college football fans bound for Florida. The Colts lost and I gained 50 degrees back. It’s nice to be back in Miami. But the switches between spaces are always moments of readjustment. Leaving Indiana always reminds me of a poem I wrote when I left for college, which was the last time I have lived long-term in Indiana, and most of it still rings true for every visit since:

 

REFLECTIONS OF HOME

The sky is gray in the winter

But the spring brings lovely green

While summer burns with a lover’s touch

And the fall takes away big dreams

 

–But it’s Home

 

There’s no place like Home

As the old saying goes

But what do you tell all the people

Who make it their home

Because they do not know

That there’s a world beyond the pastures?

 

–It’s my Home

 

I want to tell the people that hating is not the answer

I want to let them know that the world is so much bigger

To let the children know that there are options

That coming back is fine, but only if it’s what you want to

I have to let them know

 

You loved me once, though I am different

You love me still, though I went away

I went away to find the answers

To the questions that you gave me

And now I’m back with open eyes

To see Home all the better

 

–My Home

 

I hear the gossip of the women ready to tell you your worst news

I feel distant from the girls who married after school

Jobs and husbands and bills are not my life

And I watch the face of she who recently became pregnant

The eyes of all follow her as she walks down a lonely street

But what do you expect when you give pressure to the girls

To find a love by age sixteen and marry off come graduation

 

You there, girl I knew when I was younger

Is this the life you chose or the life they made for you?

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to go off to college?

Or even just to see who else could claim your broken heart?

And boy, the one who told me all your secret dreams

Did they let you out to find them,

Or tell you till the land and pull the weeds?

 

–Our home

 

And I wondered long why you closed your gates

Why you were so scared of imminent change

If you never meet your neighbor

How do you know that you really hate him?

Do not let the older generation beat you down in hate

There are no gates where we live, so open up your hearts

 

I feel your eyes upon me when I make my way back home

I hear you whispering about me,

Asking why I left and where’d I go?

You don’t believe that I could ever be happy elsewhere

You don’t believe that I can make it out there

 

But I can

And I am

 

–And it’s Home

 

Despite the fact that no one looks like me

Despite the fact that your business is never your own

Despite the fact that it’s the sight of bittersweet memories

Despite the fact that once you leave, it’s hard to find your way back

 

–Do you want to? Do I want to?

 

But I never want to come back and feel like this is not home

I do not want to lose these feelings of connection

But I can come back home to see just how far I’ve come

 

I made it, despite everything else

I triumphed and am thriving

Because I can always remember

That where I’m from and where I’ve been

Is not who I am or where I’m going

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