“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
A week and a half ago, I drank in my last walk in the woods at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean, VA like a cup of tea, sip by sip, cradling the mug with both hands, the steam bathing your face, cozied up in your favorite cushy arm chair.
The humidity that hung in the air the previous weekend had lifted, and it felt like a quintessential fall day as my feet crushed the leaves on the path and the puppies pitter patter paws kept me rhythmic company. It was mid-day, mid-week, and so I was one of only a few people there. Often, this popular park can be quite crowded, so I relished the sense of exclusivity I felt in one of my favorite places.
I used to run these trails with my big brother when I was kid (back in the day when I could still Forest Gump my way through every soccer game and run workout). Then, we moved away.
I returned many years later as an adult. Occasionally, I’d stop here for a short walk on my drive from work in DC on my way “home” to my sister’s house in Leesburg. Once, Pete and I met up here for a date. Then we moved away.
More than six years later, we returned again. This time, we lived only 15min away, so it was a place I often came to alone for an afternoon refresher, but also with friends. No matter my mood, or how long I walked, I always felt better for having visited.
Now, we’ve moved away again.
Places hold power.
The trees are magic.
The river talks.
The pups have a different energy here.
I’m often more present in the forest than anywhere else.
Moving brings mixed emotions and places can seem to have a hold on us. But remember WHEREVER WE GO, THERE WE ARE.
Believe me, I know, it can seem like the place is us, such that we need it in order to be ourselves. I felt that way when leaving Denver 6 months ago – like I was the best version of myself there and was terrified I wouldn’t be in DC. I felt like I needed the Denver yoga studio I loved, the friends I had, the parks I visited there in order to be me. Certainly, those social supports and healthy spaces matter! I do strongly believe that finding what feels like home is vital.
In the meantime, though, if life takes you elsewhere, don’t lose the power of the journey of being where you are, too. Because of our short stay in VA, I made a few new friends who are souls that have impacted my life beautifully, and made new memories in a place I’ve known for awhile. I consider that a blessing.
Goodbye, Virginia. I love you. You’re the closest thing I’ve had to “home” in 30+ moves.
Hello, Colorado. I never stopped loving you. You’re my HOME now.