Visiting my sister and my nieces and their families in Jacksonville; a visit from my uncle and aunt who came from the Keys to see us; and a special dinner with lifelong childhood friends have been highlights of the three weeks that we’ve been staying with my folks.
And, of course, the simple luxury of spending a long stretch of time with my mom and dad in daily life, something that I haven’t done since I left Florida after graduate school to explore the world almost 30 years ago.
We’ve shared delicious meals and many fun experiences this past three weeks, and most of all, we’ve shared our collective memories. We all seem to remember different bits of experiences, and jointly, we piece together the fragments of our shared history.
I needed to leave Florida to experience different places, to discover myself beyond the bounds of the life that I knew when I lived here. And now, I’ve needed to return. It feels good, being here, sharing with my family and friends, reconnecting and enjoying one another. We’re sharing old memories, but we’re also creating new ones. For this, I am grateful.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
~T. S. Eliot