My return to Canada, about two weeks ago, came at a difficult time. There has been a tremendously sad and untimely death in my extended family… one that impacted us all deeply. As we gathered to support our loved ones, it struck us that such occasions gave the thinnest of a silver lining, the opportunity to come together with love and respect, to celebrate a life lived well. I was grateful to have returned in time to be with family.
After a month-and-a-half away, five days ago, I was home again in the mountains – from the bustle of Europe to the quiet of a lovely Canadian mountain town. And I fear that it is ‘deja vu’ all over again. Much as I am eager to look forward, I find myself still rooted in the travel adventures of late; still learning how to weave these two lives together.
In this present life I’m home; to the same bed every night, to a closet of clothes instead of suitcases, to a kitchen to cook in once again, to dusting away the cobwebs – all hallmarks of a more routine life. Along with that, I must figure out how to carry that other life with me as this vagabond traveler stows away her travel-chest of memories, always present but for the moment, waiting patiently for the next adventure.
And this is where I continue to struggle. Wherever I’ve lived and wherever I have might have roamed, the transition from one life to the other is always challenging for me. And it seems I revert to the usual, cocooning myself away, spending days indoors in an attempt to adjust. I have spent many hours, this past week with the fireplace ablaze, mostly transporting myself back to Italy… engrossed in a historical series about the Medici’s of Florence and in Irving’s Stone, weighty biography of Michealangelo.
Hour after hour of reading. Day after day of quiet and naturally some writing, but mostly just being still. I agree, it seems odd and contradictory – transitioning to life back in Canada while my mind is still in Italy. It is almost as if I quarantine myself, reluctant even to unpack my bags, an act that signifies this particular journey is at an end.
But people are understanding, and kind. Friends messaged to say they’re happy I’m home and could we get together. Mostly I made my excuses, until this past weekend. At last, I was coaxed out of the house by a dear friend.
“How are you friend? I’m having a girl’s night, come over for the evening?” she insisted.
Somehow I knew I needed to get out of my funk, put on some makeup and admit it was time to be in the present. It was exactly what I needed. The lively evening was a ray of sunshine. I met lovely new people. The conversation meandered through a million topics and the laughter flowed. I started to feel connected again.
And I was reminded of what I know to be true. There are times when we need to be patient with ourselves and trust our instincts of what is best for our own equilibrium and transition – whatever situation that might be. We must also trust that when someone sprinkles that ‘bit of magic’ towards you, allow yourself to embrace it.
And of course, the sadness and melancholy of the loss of a beloved family member is also a reminder… life is precious and fragile. There’s no time to delay, it’s always time to move forward…