I love to travel, I really do. Our recent month-long trip to the U.K. was extraordinary. We met warm, friendly people everywhere we went. The diverse geography of Scotland and Wales surprised us, and we struck a balance between rest and activity.
Meanwhile, now we’re home, returning to routine. Smells of beets and carrots roasting in the oven, and kitchari on the stove, fill the house. Apples are picked and applesauce made. I’ve aggressively pruned my lavender since I now understand it’s nearly impossible to kill it. I’ve installed mulch under the fruit trees and planted cover crop to provide a protective blanket of green to bare soil.
Henry and I both feel changed by the trip. Magic is afoot, though its definition eludes us at the moment. The last time a trip impacted us this much, we moved cross-country.
While I continue to process its meaning, though, I have noticed a shift in my writing practice. I have returned to my novel manuscript, slowing the pace to consider individual sentences or to ponder word choice. At the end of each day I don’t have a lot of pages under my belt, but the work is stronger and more detailed. I am more protective of my writing time. I feel quieter and more creative. I feel more determined.
Other changes are showing themselves bit by bit. I have “unfollowed” Facebook friends who over-post or dwell on the unpleasant. I have unplugged from all Facebook games. I visit Facebook less often.
Six days ago, I quit drinking Diet Coke. This addiction, in my opinion, has affected my physical and emotional health, so it has to go. Instead, I’m drinking tea. For the afternoon, when I need a bit of fizz, I combine a homemade root beer tea with a splash of club soda. I’ve failed several times in my attempts to abstain, but I am ready to try again — and hopeful I have a better strategy, which I’ll write about in more detail at another time.
I’ve returned to healthful eating habits, and I’m exercising daily. Travel is tough on the waistline!
Who knows what happened to cause so many shifts? Maybe the ghosts of the Bronte sisters are urging me on. They knew how short and precious life can be. Maybe I’m just refreshed from the long break, especially since we could ignore our legal woes for a month. Maybe genealogy provides a longer lens that changes my worldview. Or maybe Stonehenge worked some goo-bi-di-goo on me. I don’t know.
In short, I am returning to the routine and activities that nourish me and bring me both health and happiness. Much as we love travel, it’s good to come home.