When I was going into the sixth grade my family moved from a city about twenty minutes north of Seattle (Lynnwood) to a city about fifty minutes south of Seattle (Puyallup). Truthfully, the move was pretty traumatic for me. I missed my friends in Lynnwood and being shy, I found it very difficult to make friends at my new school. I would walk the track by myself during recess and count down the hours until I could go home. I can laugh at how pathetic that sounds now, but at the time life felt incredibly painful. Who knew loneliness could physically hurt.
Sunday nights were the worst. I'd feel sick with dread as I thought about the five days ahead of me that were sure to be filled with anxiety, feeling out of place, and longing for the friends and familiarity I had been forced to leave behind. On these difficult nights as I was trying to fall asleep and longing to be someone/somewhere else, I'd listen to a Kenny Loggins lullaby tape on my walkman. Maybe I was too old for songs about rainbows and wishes and unicorns but they provided a feeling of comfort and stability that I craved. To this day, whenever I hear Kenny sing "St. Judy's Comet" or "To-Ra-Loo-Ra"(don't judge) I feel a familiar sense of peace and comfort. Though the world around me felt lonely and out of control, my home was a place of refuge where life was safe and love could be found. These songs reminded me of this.
Tonight we out for sushi to celebrate my roommate’s, 25th birthday. It was the first time I've eaten sushi since being in Seattle and as soon as I took my first bite it immediately reminded me of home. Seattle is filled with a lot of excellent things(coffee, rain, art, bicyclists...) and sushi is certainly one of them. Eating it reminded me of late nights at Wasabi Bistro or heading to Blue C Sushi after work. It was like a little piece of home rolled up in rice and seaweed and it was so wonderful! I felt giddy thinking about my return as I was eating it.
If you're having a difficult time figuring out how I got from lullabies to sushi, I certanly wouldn't blame you. I'm not really sure I know how to articulate the connection. I just know that as I was lying here snuggled in bed-not feeling wonderful and sort of just wanting someone to take care of me- both of these things came to mind. As I thought about them, I was reminded of how exceptionally beautiful my life is.
I am so blessed to be able to look back on even the most difficult times of my life and never doubt that I was loved and supported. I am so lucky to be able taste home and feel joy instead of bitterness or hurt or disappointment as many in this world do. You know that cheesy saying, “home is where the heart is?” Well…it’s filled with some healthy bits of truth. Though I am far from home, the memories of it have traveled safely with me. And still, I realize as I prepare to head back to the place I love and call home in a few months, I will bring with me new memories of a new home. In the process of leaving home, I've realized how much I really love it. In the midst of needing home, I've realized it can exist simultaneously in more than one place.
Perhaps my roots have loosened a little. I've been told this happens as we grow. At times it is scary to think about where I might be transplanted and end up, though I can't feel a sadness about the uprooting process. Without it, I never would have discovered how beautiful and deep my roots truly are.