A funny thing happened on my way back from Colorado.
Emma and I had gone to visit my mom, see Patrick and Tamara, see friends, and dance. It was a lot to accomplish in 4 days. I was excited to see everyone, but we were just beginning to feel settled in Massachusetts and it felt too soon to go back. The roots we were trying to establish in our new home were too fragile, but as I had promised to come back regularly to check up on Mom, we really needed to go.
The first thing we noticed, flying in to Denver International Airport, were the trees - or lack thereof. Yes, this was eastern Colorado - flat, dry, and you can see for miles across the plains. Ha! I said to myself. I didn’t miss the dryness or the flatness or the lack of trees. We’re getting spoiled, I said to myself. We’ve got trees and rivers and hills.
We rode the train into Denver to Union Station. Greeting our friend, Marie, who came to meet us, we walked out and I savored the city. There’s nothing like Union Station and downtown Denver! Marie drove us to Deb’s house where we were staying, stopping first at King Soopers so we could pick up a few things. A familiar store! I knew where things were! At Deb’s, we had dinner and peeked out her front window to see our old house.
We visited with Mom, met the lovely young couple who bought our house, visited our favorite thrift shops, and danced on Friday and Saturday evenings with our Denver square dance club. It was a perfect way to see so many good friends. I think we were among the last to leave the building Saturday evening. We also got to help my brother-in-law and his wife celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary!
I felt it starting then. Those roots were trying hard to plant themselves in Colorado again. This wouldn’t do at all.
I noticed the heavier traffic, the line at the bank where I deposited Mom’s check, the car that honked its horn when I, with a rare New England reflex, stopped and waited as soon as the pedestrian put one foot in the crosswalk. Our new home has some nice benefits, I told myself firmly. Coming back from dance on Saturday night, about 10:30, the traffic was stop and go. Looking down over the viaduct, it was solid cars on I-25 stretching in both directions as far as we could see. HA!
As we flew back home, I tried to think about all the good things waiting for us in Massachusetts: trees, water, our big old Victorian house with big old heating bills. Stop that, I told myself, the energy audit is next week. It’ll get better. We were coming back to good neighbors, maple syrup country….We were leaving behind our friends, family…. We’ll be back, we’ll be back. Remember the awful traffic…the long lines…
When we talked about it later, Emma said it best. This time we were consciously letting go of our old house, neighborhood, and city. It wasn’t harder than when we left the first time, it was just different. This time we knew we’d be going back and we would need to consciously allow our roots to develop in Massachusetts. It’s not something that happens overnight. Better be patient.
We also came back to Chris and our two dogs. Our family. And two days after we got back, we took off again, this time to Maine to see John and Coco and the grandkids. We all went, even the dogs. Coming back yesterday, the trip was just long enough to make us relieved and grateful to see the sign for our town. It would be good to get back and sleep in our own beds. One place isn’t better than the other. We’ve been grateful for good neighbors in Colorado and Massachusetts. We’ve got family in Colorado and New England. We can be travelers and explorers. We can have adventures.
Five minutes after we arrived at the house, our neighbor was at the door with a plate of cookies to welcome us home. HOME! No more traveling for a little while. We’ve had enough adventures for the moment. If anyone asks, we’ll just tell them we’re letting our roots grow.