I am feeling life returning again.
Though I've certainly been busy with holiday things, as well as concerns about my father-in-law who had back surgery about a week ago, these past couple weeks have been slowly and gently restorative for me. I came into the month of December physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted after an all-too-full Autumn.
Little by little, though, because of more moments of quiet and peace woven into my days, I have felt life returning again. This is such a good thing.
Somewhere in the midst of these past couple weeks, we have started to talk about the possibility of moving back home this summer. The more we've talked about it, the more I think we're starting to count on the idea. Though, I guess ultimately it will depend on whether it seems like I will have an equal or better chance of finding a teaching and/or pastoral post back home as here, once my dissertation is complete. (I do like the sounds of that.)
Already, I have felt the bittersweetness of walking through our beautiful city here--feeling that gentle pulling up of roots again from a place we'd started to think of as home. The sights, sounds, the smells here--eucalyptus trees, the hills and water, street performers, the train that rumbles by a few blocks away, rosemary bushes--all of them are part of what makes us up now. They've been shaping us for almost four years.
The other night, though, as a family we went to see Rocky Balboa. (A fantastic movie, by the way!) At one point, Paulie turns Rocky and says: "Once you stay in a place long enough, you start to become it." (Wendell Berry would love it!) Well, for us, seeing the sights of Philadelphia in that film was like reminding us of our place, what we had become over time. Even after these years away, it seems apparent that who we are is not fully here. Who we are is back there.
At least this is how I'm feeling these days. Though nothing is certain, yet. We're beginning once again to live into that in-between space of possibility.