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A big city, where you only see the same people twice if you choose to see them twice.

A quiet little New England town where it snows every Christmas. Where there is a colorful and lasting autumn, and people have accents that sound a world away from the familiar. 

Surrounded by mountains so tall and spaces so big that everything, including oneself, feels insignificant by comparison.

Next to a beach with waves washing away each sunset, and promising something infinitely possible in the following sunrise.

Places where people aren’t so….predictable. Places where traditions are valued, but so is growth, progress, education.

Places that aren’t so steeped in self righteousness and suffocating pleasantries all while they cover deep, hypocritical, and profound hatreds. 

Our native sons and daughters – some will stay. Absorb half truths. Carry on the beliefs of prior generations.

But some will leave. Searching for a different kind of community. 

In her eyes, I recognize the faraway look – the same one that still occasionally stares back in the mirror at me.

The person that never intended to stay.

The dreamer. The wanderer. The explorer.

Time has a way of anchoring. The more time that passes, the heavier the anchor becomes. 

Old ways become harder to change. 

Familiarity, routine, obligations, commitments – all tethering a person to one geographical location. Sometimes for a season, sometimes…a lifetime. 

If her heart wanders, I hope she will follow. 

It is a heavy heart that was never able to break its chains. 

Over time, peace settles in, and reminders of blessings and beauty in the people and landscapes soften the harsh realities and ease the curiosity of unfollowed paths.

But that faraway look will sometimes return. A dreamer’s heart will always wonder.