Practically a month spent in Belgium, and you found yourself wrestling with severe bouts of homesickness. Homesick? You?
Okay, yeah, it’s weird. You’re not really the type, but your memories came calling, and you realized that you were lacking a sense of community. Being on the road, meeting new people, seeing new places–having those faces and locations streaming by you left you feeling rather lonely. It seemed as though you couldn’t ESTABLISH yourself anywhere. You adore most of the people you have met, but there still seemed to be a distance. It was a totally reasonable distance. After all, why build a connection with someone who is dead set on leaving within weeks, even days?
The more you talked of your travels, the more you continued to reference Ireland. Everywhere you turned, you were reminded of Sli Na Bande. You thought, “Gosh, if you can’t stop thinking about that place, if you miss it so much, do what makes you happy. Go back.” There is no one forcing you to go anywhere. You shouldn’t feel guilty about being away for four months and ONLY visiting three countries! Ha… a little laughable, but you shouldn’t have to stress.
The other reason for your return: you needed a vacation from your vacation. It was hard–quite stressful–bouncing from one location to the next, constantly hunting down internet access. So back to Dublin, you flew. Dropped in on Eoin at work, said hi to the gang you’d met months ago, stayed up all night with Phil again, and weakly boarded a bus to Newtownmountkennedy.
You’d emailed Marlene in advance–told her that you were coming back, told her to keep your arrival a surprise. And what a surprise it was. You walked up the hill, entered the house, dropped your 30 kilo bag on the floor, and rounded to corner to find Jane working in the kitchen. She stood there, speechless, feet fixed on the floor, unable to budge–flabbergasted. And then, the warmest reunion hug. It was an awesome welcome home, and the two of you gabbed like idiots, excitedly, happily. Marlene was calm and cool–“delighted” as she would say. Little Joshua still remembered you, said, “Hello, My Maria,” and you have been playing together ever since. Douglas came, only missed a single step in surprise, and continued about his rhythm as though your presence were not unusual. After all, people have a tendency of returning to his home. It’s a bit of a special place. Neil finally showed at one in the morning, found your delirious with sleep (had slept only 4 hours in two days) on your way to the bathroom. “What the fuck?” was all he managed. Apparently you talked, only able to open one eye.
People are glad to have you back, and god almighty are you glad to be “home.” You woke up the following morning to the familiar smells of Marlene’s freshly-baked bread and soup. The fires were all lit, candles burning, aromas flying through the house as the family worked to prepare food for a group of 16 people who have been here for the last 2 weeks. As you worked in Belgium, so you worked again, prepping, cooking, and serving guests. You were also reinstated as the baking bitch, this time taking your desserts to new frontiers–banana brownies, chocolate-filled bickies, cinnamon rolls, apple-pear cobbler.
Not too much to write here. No weird experiences, barring your task of digging up a clogged pipe and threading your arm into it past the elbow, seizing the mucky gunk that interfered with its ability to drain the showers properly. Have you ever dug into a shower drain to pull out clogged hair? Well, that’s what it smelled like–and that’s why YOU smelled like for a day. You’d stripped out of your clothes, scrubbed your skin, cut your fingernails down to the jelly, and bathed in perfume. Nothing could rid you of that stink.
Since your return, you’ve felt very happy, and the warmest you’ve been in months. You don’t want to leave. You wrote to your hostess in Greece and canceled, so for now you have absolutely no plans. You suppose you will remain here until the need to relocate comes calling. So, to pass your time, you will throw yourself diligently into writing, reading, resting, and continuing in your never-ending quest to achieve balance.