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I bitch about Mississippi a lot. The older I get, the longer I live here, the more I see her flaws.

We have so much work to do in terms of acceptance, and unity, and equality. Even as far as we have come, we still have a long ways to go.

But so does everybody. So does every state. We all have our problems.

There are people here that work tirelessly to make MS better. Who never let discouragement or the resistance of “that’s how it’s always been” bring them down.

I really and truly loved my first visit to California. In fact, I can totally see the appeal of living in a climate that rarely changes, and where there is natural beauty of so many varieties in any given direction. Deserts, mountains, beaches, large cities or quieter rural areas….there’s something for everyone. But I’ll tell you a little secret….

I was getting homesick.

My best moments and memories of the last week are the moments where I had quiet, or where there was plenty of space between me and other people. Especially large crowds.

Strolls along the cliffs, or the sand, or in a densely populated section of the baseball stadium, or in Balboa Park, or walking along some of the less busy streets of downtown – these were my favorite moments.

My brain runs 90 to nothing, all day, every day. I need those uncluttered, uncrowded spaces. And when I got out of the car this evening, in my own driveway, there was nothing but the sound of a soft breeze over the pasture, through the trees, and some crickets chirping in the distance.

A world away.

My world.

My home.

Where I always come back.

A little more traveled, a little more seasoned, excited about the memories made…. all the while thankful for the beautiful piece of Earth that I call home.

Where my heart will forever be. No matter how far I go, or how long I stay gone.

She’s not perfect, but she’s mine. And neither one of us is done changing yet.

There’s nothing in the world quite like seeing something for the first time. But there’s also nothing like seeing something you’ve seen a million times, and still being awed by it.

Mississippi does that for me.

And if there’s a better feeling than the one of coming home? Well, I haven’t found it yet.

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