|One of the many sunsets that Gary took from "the top of the hill" in Oakland|
It's always nice to go away, but it's even more nice to come home. There is something about absence that, as you know, makes the heart grow fonder. My trip to Oakland was very sweet, that's the best way I can put it.
I was bombarded by such a mixture of feelings. I missed my old haunts. The restaurants I used to frequent, stores I loved and strolls that I went on millions of times. When I first arrived, literally the first thing I did (after managing to haul the kiddos to the rental car place, get the car seats in and head off), was take a drive. With both kids conked out in the back seats I let the wheels take me where I wanted to go, back to my old home, on the hill, where both my kids were born, where I spent 9 years with my husband and watched a thousands of sunsets. It felt like no time had passed, the house looked just the same, only my heart ached a little with my sentimental spirit taking hold of me. It felt good though. I needed to go back and say hello.
To be honest, I don't really miss Oakland. Yeah, I miss my old home a little. But it's mostly people I miss. My friends. My Dad. Other family members. I miss my people and here, in this new place, it takes time to find those connections. I am though, slowly but surely. There are a lot of people here that I really resinate with and look forward to cultivating relations with.
As the week progressed in Oakland, I visited all my old haunts and favorite places, I also noticed a few other things; I started to feel bombarded by lights, noise, people, smells, traffic, . . . yada yada yada. Sigh. City Life. I have removed myself from so much of this stimulation that now, when I am in the midst of it, every cell in my body buzzed from the activity.
I was amazed at how much more relaxed I became once I was back in Washington, sitting at the ferry landing with my kids waiting to get on the boat. It was pretty instantaneous. When I was in Oakland I was afraid to let Serafin get more than 10 feet away from me! Here, both kids go toddling away from me and I don't feel like I have to reel them in every second. We've been living in a bit of a bubble here. Although Orcas is a part of this crazy world, somehow I feel safe here. I don't know if it's an illusion or I'm just kidding myself, and in for a nasty surprise at some point; but really, here, people are so trusting and open it only serves to make me be the same.
Although my heart still says that the Bay Area is my home, Orcas Island is slowly morphing into a sturdy living foundation for me. I don't know how long I will be here, but for now i'm excited to continue trying to create a full and happy life here for myself and my family. I've been here for half a year now. I can't believe it. I said in the beginning I was going to give it two years before I really formed an opinion of wether I liked it or not. Now I've bumped it up to three, so something must be right!