Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back Home Again

I had hoped I'd have a chance to blog during the eight day Boston Pilgrimage, but no such luck because -  I was too busy having such an AWESOME TIME!!!!!  I know my last blog post seemed tentative about the travels, and tentative I was.  Once immersed in the experience, however, all tensions and concerns about safety, transformation, defiance, or any other difficulty floated away.  For me, the moment that I was able to assure myself that all would be well was when our third bus driver, Nathaniel - we called him Nate, took over the the responsibility of driving.  We requested Nate travel with us again this year since we'd had such a great experience with him two years ago.  When he pulled the bus onto the interstate near Buffalo, New York, I finally slept.

What was it about Nate?  You probably think he was a strong, commanding personality that took charge and gave a sense of authority and competence.  Not at all.  Nate is one of those rare (my assessment) people of any age who can get out of the way, just provide a safety net and helping hand.  He did his job well, skillfully driving the bus and finding the addresses we were to be delivered to without aid of an on-dashboard GPS.  And, all the while he was driving and navigating, he'd say, "Just tell me what you need."  And I did!  If only I had such relationships with people in my everyday life.  No dancing around trying to figure out if he might be receptive to what I had planned, no wondering if he'd really be parked along the north side of the Boston Commons at the agreed upon time, no arguing about whether the destination was a worthwhile one.  Just unconditional support.  There was the occasional, "Are you sure you want to do that?" from Nate.  To which I would respond, "what do you suggest?"  We'd share information with each other about alternative options, and then cooperatively decide what made the most sense.  I know this sounds like I'm crushing on our young bus driver - and I am - but only as an infatuation with the really great collaborative process we had.  Blogging about this makes me think I should examine all my relationships and try to determine what makes them different from the one I have with bus driver Nate.

But, the topic of this post is not "Bus Drivers" but Back Home Again.  So many people give a sigh of relief when they return home from a long journey, including me.  I'm not feeling that so much this week. I am glad to not be sleeping on the bus or a floor or responsible for 22 teens 24/7.  But I am not enthused about being in my own home.  While away I thought I might take a couple days at home  so I could center and refocus myself, but instead I threw myself back into work full force.  I think it may have something to do with the thousands of weeds that invaded my carefully planted perennial beds while I was gone, or the closet explosion that happened as I was pulling out every possible garment when deciding what to pack, or the raft of bills and household papers calling for my attention.  It was too much - being home seemed more daunting than the 22 teens (whom turned out to be fine traveling companions and not burdens at all).

Coming home has made me re-think the way I am living.  This house, this 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 1 den, living room, formal dining room, lawn with new perennial beds, and 2.5 car garage - is, possibly, weighing me down.  It is of course, much more space than I need personally.  However, when I have any of my family over, especially for overnights and extended stays, it is just the right size.  Is the maintenance and the expense worth it for those times?  Could those times happen in smaller digs and still be wonderful?  Could they happen some other place than MY home?

If not about the house and space being too much, is this coming home more about the reminders of unfinished projects - painting the porch and trim of the house, refinishing the floors, updating the hallway bath, and more and more perennials?

Ponderings, these are all ponderings.  I think I'll go paint for awhile this afternoon and see how that feels . . . .

Here is a link to a few Boston photos, including one of Nate waiting patiently for us to all gather back at the bus.