Monday, July 2, 2012

9:27 pm: Home.

My last road trip I kept a trip journal. When the car crested the hill near my house and I could see my abode, I wrote, "Home. Home is where the heart is. So weren't we home all along?" Now- when I wrote this, I was tired, sick of being in the car and most likely in a thick emotional fog of travel. It sounded sooo prophetic at the time. Yes, I think that Aristotle himself would have nodded in agreement with that gem of wisdom. When in fact I had no idea what I meant. I just wanted to write a witty closing statement for the log. I wrote it, closed the log and forgot about it until just recently- when I got back from my most recent road trip. Finally it stuck a chord.

Upper Ice Lake, Silverton, CO. Not a bad place to call home.

Brandon and I at Hope Pass- Photo: Charlie B.
During the last week or so I have traveled all around Colorado. Running, making new friends, seeing beautiful landscapes and learning how to relax a bit. I was fortunate enough to have many generous people open up their houses to me. Everywhere I traveled, I always felt welcome. Whether I was sleeping in my Jeep or at the house of a good friend, a vague sense of "home" was always present. 

Iris, Perry and I
Home is a funny word. Webster defines it as one's place of residence, the social unit formed by a family living together, the focus of ones domestic attention. Well..yes..true it can be defined as that. But like everyone eventually finds out, it can be (should be?) much more. I still call my parents house in Maryland home. Not because of the structure, but because that's where they live. That's where I still go to visit them and my high school friends. It's in the town where I learned how to drive, where I ran my first Ultramarathon, where huge bonfires were made and where I can still go to spot mullets at the local gas station. In Durango, I felt like I was adopted into a large family of runners, coffee shop go-ers, bikers, and hikers. When I visit my sisters in WA, home is either of their houses. But it's also a shared tent by an alpine lake. It is sitting around a Jetboil at 4am making tea before a hike. I'm sure that when my sister's husband left for Afghanistan, her beautifully decorated and comfortable house suddenly felt a little less comfy, a little less like home. When my mom returns to MD after her tour de WA, I can only guess that the house will again feel like a home for my dad. 

Kelly and I pointing towards our next adventure.

Home at 14,000+ ft on Mt Columbia
I've been home for a whopping day and in a matter of hours, I'll be gone again. I'm here just long enough to do laundry, drink excessive amounts of loose leaf tea, pay my rent and get the oil changed in my trusty Jeep. Another adventure awaits. But more than that, more places to call home are ready to be discovered. Four walls shouldn't define your home. As long as you are surrounded by people you love and are doing what you enjoy, the location shouldn't matter, because you'll be home all along. 

Up to Hope Pass. Photo: Brandon Stapanowich

Reese St? Coincidence? I think not.

"Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels  not like going, but like going back. All my life the god of the Mountain has been wooing me. Oh, look up once at least before the end and wish me joy. I am going to my lover. Do you not see now?" - C S Lewis.

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