I don’t know if we can ever really “return.” I can go back somewhere that I’ve been before, but I don’t really return to that place because I’m not the same person I was when I was there last.
Eldest has “returned” home for several weeks after his first year of college. Although he had been home a few times over the last year, this was different as he brought more than a backpack.
It is not just a visit, and yet it is because while he brought more than a backpack, his things have not found a home. They are scattered in his room, living on the surface rather than returning to where they belong. Where they used to belong.
In some ways, it is the same. He has returned to his old room and to his place at the table. He has returned to familiar rituals and family practice. But he isn’t the same person who left. And so while the same, he is different. And his return is also a new arrival.
In the first days, he was home, it was fun to watch him try on the memories of when he lived here to see if they still fit. We played Disney and Harry Potter Scene-It (games from childhood). There were favorite meals to be eaten and not so favorite chores to do. I could see him taking it all in, processing the familiarity, while at the same time reconfiguring its understanding with a year’s worth of distance and new experiences.
Returning is not really going back to where you were. It is something old and something new at the same time. It’s receiving the past as it was while also receiving the present as it is now. May we honor and rejoice in both.Returning is not really going back to where you were. It is something old and something new at the same time. It’s receiving the past as it was while also receiving the present as it is now. Click To Tweet
It’s Five Minute Friday: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.” You can read more about it here.