“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Journey Home



On Tuesday I fly to Tucson where I will pick up my car and drive it back to the Midwest.

Why am I doing this, you ask? Some four months ago my car, a 2004 Passat wagon with a turbo engine, had an engine failure. The day before Christmas. We learned, after the fact, that VW Passats, made between 2001 and 2004 have a problem, they are inclined toward a "sludge build up" in the engine. Of course VW claims that if you change your oil regularly this will not happen. Or, it will. But better save all your receipts for every oil change and if you do, maybe VW will help pay for a new engine. And Turbo. Or maybe they won't. And, if not, if you're lucky maybe they will reduce the cost of the new engine or help pay for the new engine and/or eliminate the $600.00 diagnostic fee it cost to figure out the problem in the first place.

Anyway, after 4 months of haggling the car will now be fixed, and almost like new. Imagine, it only cost me 75% of the new engine expense - with VW and the dealership paying for some of it.

Actually, the dealership has been fabulous, very helpful and proactive on our behalf.

So, that's the background, why I'm flying out and driving back.

The point is, this trip has been anticipated since we left Tucson a few months ago to move back to the Midwest.

Ok, I hear you....you're wondering why we didn't just stay there until the car was ready? Well, that's another story. (And, I've already told it).

Suffice it to say it just had to be. So, I am now making this anticipated trip to a place I once called home. (It was home, if only for a mere 2 years.) The photo in the header was taken from my backyard.....when it was my backyard, when I lived there.

While there to get the car I intend to: see my Spiritual Director; take care of some business with our insurance agent; see my acupuncturist and the dentist (the crown on my tooth broke yesterday. I wonder if they keep crowns in stock, since I'll only be in town 24 hours?). I'll also see some friends. It will be hard being there I suspect. I have some very painful memories of living there, still raw on a certain level.

The next day (yes, I hope to only be there 24 hours) I will drive north to pick up our son. He and I will continue north into Utah, toward the Grand Staircase. My father has a house there and we'll stop in for a visit. Then we'll head north again to Salt Lake City to visit more family. I was born in Salt Lake, so this too is a place I call home. Even though I haven't been back since my mother's funeral in 2005.

Finally, a week from today (or tomorrow) we, my son and I, will head east. We'll drive through Wyoming, Nebraska, and Iowa and finally arrive back in Illinois in time for me to go with my brother for a biopsy on Wed. May 5. Illinois, where I lived for 38 years before I moved to Arizona, and where I now live again, is also a place I call home.

Home.

Is home where you live? The place where your furniture is and you sleep at night and shower in the morning. The place where you eat meals and watch TV, read, laugh cry and love.

Or, is home where your heart is? Maybe that is an actual place, but maybe it's something/somewhere you yearn to be. Perhaps its a place you have visited or the kind of place you enjoy visiting like the ocean or the mountains. For a long while I thought my home was in the mountains. But, now, I don't know....I don't think so. Not just because I no longer live in or near mountains, but because I'm not sure where I live is actually a place. In fact - despite where I live or where my heart is - I'm not sure I actually have a home at this point in time.

Now, there's something to ponder. What is it like to be homeless even when one has a roof over one's head, a place to sleep, eat, shower, and love? Where is home, after all? And, don't suggest that home is where we go after this life. That home, that permanent home is not what I am talking about.

I mean, I think that God wants us to have a home here on earth. A place where we value life and appreciate this gift of life that God has given us with every breath we take. Where is THAT home? The heart-home, the God-home, the "This is where I am supposed to be" home?

I don't know where it is for me, but I do know that it's a journey and I'm on the road.

Home.