It is a unique phenomenon going “home” to visit. Your brain remembers where and how to get places, even though you don’t always remember street names. The car seems to be using autopilot as you arrive somewhere you barely realized you were driving to. The music channels still play your favorites with a large variety of alternative stations. Landmarks you have passed your entire life suddenly seem extremely interesting. For example, on the corner of two main streets in this city there is a small grouping of orange trees. A placard proudly states that these are not just any citrus, but the PARENT trees to a vast land of local orange groves. Is that fascinating to you? Probably not, but it takes on new significance as a middle age woman returning to the land of her youth.
Part of my heart dreads leaving to go home. Another piece can’t wait to be in my own home, the adult Christa’s home, the one that houses my own family that I had a part in creating. One foot steps toward that faraway place, the other stays firmly planted in the family that created me. At the beginning of this year, I count my blessings to have not just one place to call home, but several. The cliché goes something like this, “Home is where your heart is.” Pieces of my heart are gently places wherever loved ones reside. A happy new year indeed.