Lake Superior >> In Colors and Textures

Well, hello there, you. How've you been? I feel like I've fallen off the face of the earth, and am now finding my footing again. Actually, I didn't fall anywhere, I was supported quite surely by all of the ground we covered between Washington and Minnesota and back again on our visit home.

Home is a funny word. I'll say that I'm going "home" for a visit, and mean Minnesota, but I'll also use that word when I'm there, referring to "back home" and mean Seattle. But actually, we've only lived here for 1 year and 1 day, and before that, "home" was another state (California) and another life. One year ago today, I was sitting amongst boxes and trying to figure out where the nearest grocery store and gas station were; getting ready to start another new job in another new city. But it is home. I can feel my body relax when I come in the door, and the barista at our neighborhood cafe knows my by name. But the place where I spent my first 27 years, is also home, and it's so much more complicated now.

It's no longer a place where I hang my hat or kick off my shoes at the end of a long day. Going there is not relaxing in the slightest. It is trying to maintain relationships and connections, trying to make enough memories in 10 days to last 6 months. It is catching up and never quite feeling caught up. It is contentment and excitement, and also guilt and frustration. It is knowing all the backroads and shortcuts through the city like second nature, the best place to get ice cream and take a walk in the cool evening. It is gratifying and satisfying, and it is exhausting and hard. It's seeing newborns turn into little people in leaps and bounds, one visit crawling, the next walking and talking. It's a reminder of missing out while at the same time feeling distant from your actual daily life: what your commute looks like, how the afternoon sun shines through your own windows, the new friends you've made.

I don't mean to sound so melancholy, but I think that's what Labor Day does to me. It's always been a day marking transition - the end of summer and back to school. Like a lot of you probably, I still feel the tug of a new beginning around this time of year, a time to start fresh and move forward. I also go back to work tomorrow after having the summer off, and that feels right. This last visit home was kind of a hard one for no particular reason, although I saw almost all of my favorite people there and did almost all of my favorite things. Maintaining long distance relationships is hard as everyone knows, and sometimes that's just the way it is. The alternative is worse and I don't wish for it, but I think it's okay to just acknowledge hard things sometimes, without ruminating or dwelling on them too much.

The pictures with this post don't have much to do with anything, except that they are from my most favorite-ist place on the Earth, the North Shore of Lake Superior which was part of our trip. I kept finding myself drawn to the colors and textures, to the way the water met the sky way out in the horizon, seamlessly blending from liquid to ether.

shanti >> sondra



  1. Those pictures pack quite a beautiful, refreshing punch. They're so soothing, and yet vibrant. I love them. :) I'm sorry you're feeling a little down. I moved away from my childhood home when I was 18, however that didn't *really* feel like home. My home was in Utah, where Jen was. Now, as long as I am with her, I am home. I don't have the desire to return to Illinois, which is where I am from. If I'm honest, state wise, I long for the West where I am, though in maybe another state, and I long for Louisiana. Though, in reality, we hope to get a RV or boat, and live in that while traveling! I definitely am a nomad.

  2. abhaya_sondra9/4/13, 10:35 AM

    I love the West, too! I don't know if we'll be able to stay here depending on where my husband is able to get a job, but I really hope so. And living in an RV would be a dream! I don't know if I could do it long-term, but I definitely fantasize about being on the road for several months at a time, taking our home with us like turtles. I think part of the complicated feeling I have about "home" involve the fact that I didn't move away because I wanted to. I mean, I wanted to live with my husband who's job took him away, but I never would have left otherwise. I was pretty happy where I was! But, now that I've left, I wouldn't trade the experience, and it's made me grow a lot as a person.