The picture above is a shot of the very edge of the Plymouth jetti. Those are the last rocks. I wanted to get just the tips of my feet in the shot. It's meant to be poetic to me. That is the furthest point you can walk to on the jetti, after that you've reached the end. And that's how I felt about my life in Massachusetts that week - just day's before my flight. I had reached the end of the road back home. There was nothing left for me to pursue or explore. I needed a fresh start. One journey ends, another begins - that sort of thing.
And now I'm home, for a while. Two weeks back in Massachusetts to catch up with my family, see my friends and reassert that we all still care about and remember each other during this most appropriate time of year.
It felt strange to be driven from Boston Logan to my little hometown after having taken off from Juneau International just 13 hours prior. I registered the familiar images of streets and houses I'd passed ten thousand times, not surprised to see how nothing had changed - but still surprised to realize that I was actually back. I trimmed the tree with my family tonight after a welcome home dinner of my favorite cousine: Chinese. I am happy to be home. But one question I just had to ask myself last night as I opened the door to my old bedroom...was I home? Was this home anymore? I mean, yes, it will always be "home". No matter how long its been I will always know that I can open the fridge and help myself. Flop down on the couch and watch TV on a whim. But am I home?
Or perhaps, is home 4,000 miles away now? Even then, I'm only renting a room in someone elses condo. Maybe its a little more complicated than that. Maybe what I needed was the chance to separate myself from everyone I knew and everything that was familiar, and figure out who Sara was on my own terms. Without the influence of familiarity with people or places. I think that once my contract in AK is up, I could probably return back east with a clear (or at least clearer) conscience. And it makes me wonder where else I might end up. It certainly feels like my future is far more open than it was before I left. And it also makes me really question what it means to be "home." Could home just be wherever you are happiest, or just meant to be - for better or worse - for that space of time?
Even in the past two and a half decades since I was born, the world has gotten smaller. Travel is even more efficient now than it was then. And as I close in on the last days before my next birthday, I am starting to wonder where I'll be next once my contracted commitment is through? What part of the world will I be drawn to, by fate or chance or purpose? And when I arrive there...will I be home there too?
Whatever the outcome, Tolkien was right: Not all those who wander are lost.