Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Coming Home

Summer is winding down, and in a couple of days, I will drive the final few hundred coastal miles up Interstate 95, towards the East Greenwich, Rhode Island exit. I will aim my Ford Transit wagon (with the well-worn green peace sign on the hood) towards the familiar Hill and Harbor district, the vibrant downtown with my favorite coffee shop at one end, and my home on the third floor of the historic brick Masonic building. I will park in my spot with the number 3 stencil, and begin unloading empty boxes, camping gear, office supplies, and one suitcase. Phase one of my Linger Longer book tour will be over.  I will come home. I will breath a sigh of relief. I will eagerly resume and pour myself into my old life. Truth be told, nothing I have done in the past two months, over 13,000 domestic miles scares me more than coming home.

I'm not bringing me home. I look the same. I talk and laugh the same. But if you look into my eyes, you will not find the old me. Don't be surprised if what you see instead is every cloud, star, wave, sun and moonbeam that held me tenderly. They filled me. They caused my heart to swell. My capacity for love expanded in ways I never knew possible or available. My ego took a backseat, and humility was forged, pure and simple, as I relied on the kindnesses of strangers to answer questions, maintain my vehicle, welcome me into their homes, buy my work, and share history lessons I never would have gotten in a book.

In the first few days and weeks, I will seek out and receive soft landings. I will bend down and wait for my sweet son to kiss me atop the head (our special greeting). I will pull into my mom's driveway and linger over a cup of coffee and some toast. I will hold my precious granddaughter and inhale her sweet smells. I will hug all three of my children tightly and hope they can feel the depth of my love and understand my longing. I will meet old friends for coffee and meals and we will laugh heartedly again. I will rejoin my early morning fellowship in Providence and let them welcome me back into their fold.

I will come home. I must. My only nephew will tie the knot in September. We will christen the baby in early October. I must appeal the Town of East Greenwich's sanction against participating in Airbnb's sharing economy, and take my condo association to task.

But like pages torn from a book, I'm not sure mine can ever be reassembled, made whole again in the same old way. Intuitively, I suspect that those chapters, that book, must be set aside now. I pray for the courage, knowledge, and sustenance to begin the next new volume.




  1. Fantastically written. Incredible journey.
    ---Ray Wallace

  2. Thank you, for your participation and encouragement along the way, Ray.