I love the beach. I look forward to our week there all year long. We just got back yesterday after what seemed like a genuine road trip. As much as I love Galveston Island, I love coming home almost as much. Galveston is a gritty little piece of land, but it holds many of my happy memories. The week was spent just as a vacation should be spent—reading, relaxing, talking, playing in the sand. Despite some weather-related set-backs, we had a lovely time. The week practically zoomed.
I was so elated to be home, however, that I snapped a few pictures of my room with my phone. I love the view from my room. Leafy and bright. I love my curtains and my balcony and the sound of our birds.
My favorite blanket. The little paperweight-bird that tells me home is where my story begins, my typewriter, my bookcase. All reasons I love being in my own room (not to mention it being my own and slightly more private than the room I shared in our beach house.) Mostly I just love being where I’m comfortable. I love being home.
“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” –Anne of Avonlea
I think often of that scene from the 1994 Little Women in which Marmee is braiding Jo’s hair while Jo clutches the bedpost and bemoans her own lack of direction. She says she loves home, but can’t stand to stay. I feel that way sometimes. In the story, Jo moves off to New York to become a tutor while she writes. This works out splendidly for her. She meets her husband, gets published, they kiss under the umbrella etc. etc.
Though I have long compared myself to the iconic character of Jo March and measured my own life by “where I am” in hers, I doubt I’d have such luck in moving to New York and becoming a tutor, but I am most definitely in that chapter now. The hair-braiding, bed-clinging, “what am I supposed to do with myself?” asks the whiny writer chapter. The important thing to remember, however, is that I am not Jo March. I’m Everly Pleasant (or someone claiming to have such a name…)
Home is my most comfortable place. It’s my favorite place to please myself. That doesn’t mean it’s the best place for me. I don’t know. Sometimes I think I’d like to have a place of my own. Sometimes I wish I was engaged. Then at least I’d know what my ticket out of this chapter would be. Yet here I am, at Eyrie Park for another year. I was thirteen when I moved here. I’ve seen it change and I’ve seen things stay the same for a long, long time. I still think of the trees we’ve cut down. The picnic tree, the tree I planted and other trees that have sentimental meanings to me. I sometimes think I could never, ever leave this place. Other times I know I must someday go.
I can’t imagine ever being so happy as I was growing up in this place, and that scares me. Just like I can’t imagine loving a husband as much as I love my family. I worry that I’ll leave and be unhappy and lonely. I worry that I’ll never leave and stop being content. I worry that I already have. And then I go on a week-long trip and I’m dying to be back in this room…
I wish this was the kind of post that had some conclusion and tweet-able lines and pinterest-worthy images. I wish that this was something that would go viral and change lives, but I’m not having a life-changing day. I’m having a sitting at home, nothing splendid, string of pearls kind of day. I love home, I always will, but I’ve made my home in nine or ten different houses and apartments. I’ve made my home in a family of five and a family of a however-many-of-us-there-are-now. Rented houses, 3rd-world apartments, Victorian mansions, ranch houses, an RV, we’ve done it all and wound up at Eyrie Park, a place I’ll always treasure. But I can’t store up my treasure at Eyrie Park and I can’t get stuck thinking that all my happiness comes from these walls. I’ve got to love where I am, but I also have to have open hands.
And that’s really all I’ve been trying to say. I’m glad to be home. I’m glad I left so I could return. I’m glad we got our week in Galveston (pictures later, maybe?) I’m glad God has my future in His hands, even when I’m blind and lame and prone to worry. He has been very, very good.