We returned Seattle to find the lilacs in full bloom, filling the air with their gentle floral scent. We are home again.
Why do we travel? There are many good and valid reasons. We just returned from spending a rather whirlwind two weeks as tourists in Texas. It was good fun to look with curiosity at new places, but vacationing like this just scratches the surface. One of the reasons I travel like this, from time to time, is to make memories with my husband or family and friends.
For true understanding, for deeper experiences and connection to new places, we would have to travel differently. I am not sure how to do this, but I yearn to learn. Perhaps in retirement, with more time, we can figure out how to travel better, not just as onlookers.
In the meantime, it helps to practice by living more thoughtfully at home.
“It just may be that the most radical act we can commit is to stay home. What does that mean to finally commit to a place, to a people, to a community?
It doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it does mean you can live with patience, because you’re not going to go away. It also means commitment to bear witness, and engaging in ‘casserole diplomacy’ by sharing food among neighbors, by playing with the children and mending feuds and caring for the sick. These kinds of commitment are real. They are tangible. They are not esoteric or idealistic, but rooted in the bedrock existence of where we choose to maintain our lives.
That way we can begin to know the predictability of a place. We anticipate a species long before we see them. We can chart the changes, because we have a memory of cycles and seasons, we gain a capacity for both pleasure and pain, and we find the strength within ourselves and each other to hold these lives.
That’s my definition of family. And that’s my definition of love.”
— Terry Tempest Williams