“If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” – Henry Miller
Heading back to Miami was a surreal experience. We’ve always considered this home, and In the eleven years that we’ve lived away from Miami (this time around), we’ve visited regularly. But driving into the city was something we’d not done in a really long time. And it’s hard to believe that we are going to “live” here again for the next couple of months.
As we drove in from the west, I started to feel a mix of excitement and sadness. Excitement at the prospect of seeing many friends and family once again and coming back to this familiar place where we spent our youth, went to high school and college, and got married. Sadness in remembering that both Hector’s father and my father and stepmother are gone and so won’t be here to greet us and that this place that we have so many memories of has changed and will never be the same as it was. And the two of us have also changed over the years. These changes are always a part of coming home.
We enter the city and I joke about how flat it is. Definitely no mountains. But we have the ocean. Then we encounter a few of the crazy drivers. It seems that there are more crazy drivers every time we come here. But they can be pretty entertaining with their creativity and gumption. And then we see the trees and especially fruit groves, and, in fact, our campsite is in a fruit grove. And here in the middle of winter, there is still lots of green.
We are most excited about seeing our friends and family. One of the things that has changed on this journey is that we have more time and don’t have to be constantly rushing around and so can meet with people at their convenience. At the same time we are able to stay out of their way when they are busy, since we have our own space on Island Girl.
Now Christmas has arrived and we’ve already spent fun times with friends and family; celebrating December birthdays, hosting dinners in Island Girl and going to holiday gatherings. We’ve had a great opportunity to spend time with the nieces and nephews and other members of the next generation, many of which are now adults. This next generation never ceases to amaze me. They are a great combination of smart, funny, creative, athletic, thoughtful, wise, savvy and, yes, complicated people and we are very much enjoying them.
One of the greatest gifts we’ve received this season and along our journey has been to spend more time with people we love and we are very grateful for that.