Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The return

It first occurred to me in 2012: you have not lived in a place until you've left it and come back. I remember I was driving along the Umpqua River when I realized it, on highway 38 near Scottsburg, Oregon. I had been in New Zealand for a week and a half and was on my way back to Coos Bay, my home base at the time. Looking out over the Umpqua, it occurred to me what a neat place I lived in. That was the first time Oregon ever felt like home.

Today, I returned to Falmouth, Massachusetts, for the first time after a long trip away. Of course I had left Falmouth before - I had been to Boston, and even my church is in another town, 45 minutes away. But short trips don't count. To live in a place, you have to leave it for a while - and then come back.

As I pulled into the WHOI parking lot this morning, my eyes couldn't help but catch the Atlantic, pale blue in the clouded light. It's been two weeks since I've seen her, and I'm very glad to have the ocean in my view again. I breathed in the salty air and let it out slowly. Time for science. I am home.

Hello, friend.

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