Little Silver Charm
As I spent a weekend in Florida, away from my husband, children and friends, I knew that I should enjoy the responsibility-free time, being grateful for uninterrupted breakfasts and only having to wipe my own nose. It's amazing how the little details of life increase in importance once they're gone. Instead, I felt like Dorothy in the middle of Munchkin land, a complete anomaly who no one knew quite what to do with lest I drop another house out of the sky. This surely wasn't Cold Spring. Over the three days I visited my grandfather with the women of my family, I may have even clicked my flip-flops together a few times and muttered my own personal mantra, "Let me go home, where people don't think I'm weird."
Somewhere in the distance between New York and Florida, I gained enough perspective on my life, to find not only deep gratitude for my present life in and of itself, but I also to acknowledge the fact that this wonderful life was one I had created not been born into by chance or karma. I couldn't look into a snow-globe glass at my own life without marveling at how well it fit who I was at that very moment. For the first time in my life, I felt a safety net of support, not only in my immediate chosen family, but in my friends, who wouldn't roll their eyes at my compost pile, the women who not only didn't think cloth diapering was a silly idea, but some had done the same. The seemingly insignificant details of my life now became magnified in that strange land; the washed out Ziploc bags, the non-hydrogenated snacks in the cupboard, and the friends who thought I was funny and not weird. Or at least they were as weird as me. This was a life worth living and I had constructed it myself. I amazed myself with the fact that I could do such a thing — my life wasn't accidental — it was a family, with most elements chosen by me, and some thrown in by random good luck. For the first time since having my children, I didn't feel that I had escaped; I wanted to go home. Like Dorothy, I had to go on a journey to realize the value of home, and I didn't even have to get thumped on the head with a window to realize it. Lucky me.
For the rest of the weekend, I answered my family's curious questions about my life, shrugged off my mother and her cousin giggling as they watched my yoga practice on the patio, and maybe, no, were those flying monkeys out there over the man made lake? Must have been my imagination. At the end of the weekend, as I gratefully packed up my bag and headed back to the airport with my family, I felt a relief spreading across my entire being, not that I was leaving my childhood family, but that I was going back to my snow-globe world. I could enjoy the last of my time alone with my mother and sister, enjoying the women who helped shape me enough that I could make the choices leading up to my present life. I was ready to return to my own life, and I guarantee, they to theirs. I returned, not only with gratitude for my own ability to create a fulfilling and rich life, but also for everything leading up to it. Let them think I'm weird; they love me regardless and I love them too. Along with the souvenirs I brought home for my kids, I bought myself a little silver pair of flip flops for my charm bracelet to remind me to constantly have gratitude for my small world. And sometimes, If I feel the lesson slipping away, I put on my charm bracelet, slide into a pair of flip flops, and survey my surroundings; it's then that I know that there is truly no place like home.