"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Home

Just a few hours ago we were driving on the Hummingbird Highway, passing men riding bicycles to work, old bleach bottles become water bottles hanging from their handle bars, machetes tucked against their backs. Palm trees, orange groves, banana farms and warm moist air kept us company.

We cleared security in Belize easily, and the flight to Houston where I'm writing this on my iPad was uneventful. Going through customs involved long long lines, and our carry on luggage was heavier than when we were traveling the other way (we had to lighten our checked baggage by five pounds, plus the extras we were already carrying). When the customs officer stamped our passports and said welcome home, I felt tears start, and a sense of both pride and relief.

This vacation was the best we've ever had for reasons it will take me some time to articulate. I loved Belize. I loved who I was there, who we were there, and every experience we had there.

And I am so happy to be home surrounded by loud and friendly faces, a wild array of skin colors and accents, and an awareness, much deeper than it was a couple of weeks ago, of how incredibly blessed I am. I'm happy beyond measure to have easy access to the Internet again. I enjoyed my first Starbucks green tea in 16 days like it was Christmas morning. I can hardly wait now to see our puppy and the obnoxious old cat and to sleep in our bed.

When we were ordering dinner the guy behind the counter said he'd heard we were together and wondered how long we'd been dating. Walt laughed and said 25 years. This trip was a perfect celebration of who we are as a couple, and how far we've come since August 16, 1987. Two adventurers, excited to explore the wide world, and just as happy to return to the home we've created together. A home we carry with us in many ways. We're already talking about whether to go to Africa or Australia next, and the saving for the next excursion begins as soon as the dust has cleared from this one.

They're calling our flight in a few minutes. The last leg is about to begin.

17 comments:

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

It is wonderful to find a new place where you love who you are. I look forward to hearing more. Meanwhile, welcome home!

Mark Lyons said...

Welcome home, sweet Sister. I'm so happy that this was an adventure of a lifetime (so far). And I'm also happy that it was a special time for you and Walt. :) I can hardly wait to hear all the stories.

I love you

Mark

Barb said...

Welcome back, Deb! Will await more stories about your trip.

yaya said...

Just like Dorothy...there's no place like home! Just like Dorothy you left some place that was beautiful to come home and appreciate all that you have. Welcome back!

DJan said...

What a perfect ending to a wonderful adventure! I too felt tears coming when I read this. You are indeed fortunate, not only to live here, but to be with the one you love. :-)

Donna said...

25 years...congratulations! And to celebrate in someplace beautiful...how great! Fun that you are already planning your next trip...and fun that you are loving to come home again!!!

kario said...

I love your gratitude for all of the experiences you've had on this trip. What a lovely perspective.

I'm betting your puppy-boy will be beyond thrilled to see you. I know we were glad to get home to ours.

Love.

patricia said...

The second you are settled and can manage another green tea, we must get together. Seriously. I want to hear everything. =)

Linda Myers said...

When the guy stamps my passport and says, "Welcome home", I remember I'm an American and proud of it.

Your trip sounds like a life-changing one. So glad for you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Deb! Welcome back! What a fabulous adventure, in every respect. Thank you for sharing all that you did, and know that we are anxiously waiting to hear more. I'm looking forward to seeing you soon!

Love you,

Lisa

Sandi said...

Ah Deb, I write this from my recliner, after last night's return to my own bed that brought tears to my eyes! I too, teared up when we were welcomed home in Chicago customs.
Traveling to other countries is exhilarating, mind-opening, and exhausting. While I loved almost every minute of it, I am grateful beyond my wildest imaginings to be home.
In less than an hour, we will be picking Kailyn up at PDX, and Jess texted this morning (3:18 AM, our time) that she had arrived in Seoul and was at her friend, Kayla's apartment.
I can't wait for our mini road trip later this month!
Welcome Home!

Retired English Teacher said...

Welcome home! I'm glad to hear the trip was such a great success.

Stacy Crawford said...

Welcome home Deb. I'm so glad you found happiness and saw your toucan.

Debbie Crawford said...

Welcome Home! Looking forward to hearing more about your adventure.

Pam said...

Nothing quite like kicking your shoes off when you get home. You see your own country too more clearly I think ie. what would overseas travellers first impressions be, but home is home, and always will be.One can never underestimate that sense of belonging. You've had some great experiences Deb - I look forward to hearing more!

Dee said...

Dear Deb, I look forward to your postings--which I hope you do--about what you learned about yourself and your life and your yearning to write while you were in Belize. Peace.

Survival Food said...

Its always great to be back home after a lovely vacation. The memories are cherished for ever.