I've been at my parents' the last several days. They live on a little lake about 16 miles north and west of my hometown. We've been coming to the lake almost as long as I remember, but it was about five years ago that they moved here permanently. This is definitely home now. I haven't lived in the area in more than a dozen years, but when I come back now I feel a tangible sense of peace.
The only way I can explain it sounds hokey, but I just feel a comfortable feeling that I don't feel elsewhere. The scenery and even the smells just make my soul feel at home. A lot goes on here whenever we visit, so I'm grateful that I took a few moments tonight to stand, walk and sit outside, taking in the sights, sounds and smells up here. I felt like I could finally exhale a bit. I didn't realize how much I needed those few quiet minutes here.
I've said before that 2016 is going to be a year in which my little family of five reevaluates our priorities, where we're going, what's important, and what's not important to us. It's unlikely I'll ever live here again, and that's ok. I'm so grateful to have this place where I think I can always return and feel grounded, comforted, peaceful. That's not to say I don't have cares or worries when I'm here, or that I'm free from conflict or vices; it's just that the sights, sounds, and smells help to both ground me and also to give me a little foretaste of paradise. I love it here!