Today I had one of those experiences where just for a moment I forgot where I was. I was walking Evan to school and I looked up at the sky. I saw a white fluff of clouds above the hills and for a moment they were my snow capped Rockies. A familiar site. I caught myself and realized what I was really looking at. Oakland.
Recently I have been thinking a lot about Denver. We are in the process of renting our home again, so I have been flipping through pictures of the house for the ad. We have been talking about making improvements, new carpet, a sprinkler system, sod. I miss that house. I miss that town.
I didn't exactly grow up in Denver, but it is home. Denver is where I really became a grown up. It's where I became a homeowner, where I made some of my strongest friendships, where I became a mother and an aunt. While living in Denver I celebrated some of the most important milestones of my life. We bought our first home and I planted my first garden. I stood up in my sisters wedding. I turned thirty. I struggled with infertility, and eventually took that first positive pregnancy test. My friends and I became parents together and we transitioned from partying couples to families.
And then we moved.
It isn't that Oakland is a bad place, or that I don't enjoy our lives here. There is plenty to like about the bay area. We have spent the past two and a half years exploring the beaches and the city. We have met nice people and we have good jobs. But now that the boys are getting a little older we have less time for day trips and museums. We have birthday parties, soccer games and school events to attend and I can't help but wish I was doing those things....at home.
Perhaps part of the problem is that I have neither a sense of roots or stability here. We do not own a home in Oakland, and it is hard to invest in a community we aren't committed to. We don't know where we will be even a year from today. Of course, we also do not have family in Oakland. My nieces and nephews are far away, we hardly know each other. The summer prior to moving, I had weekly pool dates with my sister and her son. We would sit in the shallow water while the boys played with each other. I thought that they would grow up as best friends. If life continues in this direction the cousins will have a relationship based on infrequent holiday visits.
As I looked at my "Rockies" this morning, I was flooded with emotion. I blinked back tears and sent my best friend Shannon a text. The only thing I wanted to do at that moment was sit in her backyard drinking a Coors Light. A familiar, comfortable, happy scene. "I miss you" I wrote her. She responded quickly, letting me know that she was there, that she would always be there. All I have to do is come home.