Thursday, July 3, 2008

Home again

And so, I'm home. I crossed the border on June 27, a full year from the day my flight landed in Reykjavik and this crazy adventure began. For having been out of the country for a year, my return was entirely anticlimactic. My return journey, rather than a long plane flight like that of most Watson fellows, was by car: I crossed the border between New Brunswick and Maine in a minor road between the small towns of St. Stephen and Calais at the end of a two week road trip from St. John’s.

The border crossing consisted of a ten-minute traffic jam on our way to crossing the bridge into the US. The man at border security didn’t even notice from my passport that I had been away from home for the year, and didn’t bother with a stamp. It felt as if returning to the country after a year away was as normal and routine as the many Maine license plates returning home from a day trip. A bit anticlimactic, I suppose, but mostly it feels lovely and comfortable to be home.

The trip back was wonderful too – a perfect way of easing back into the life I left behind for this year of adventuring. Before I even crossed the border, I had a chance to remember what it’s like to spend time with friends, to relax without having to worry about the details of what comes next, and to get my first taste of summer (and sunburn) since last June.

After a year of wanderings, it seems I should have something profound and conclusive to say at this crossroads in my life, but I regret to inform you that a year of wandering has not taught me the secret of life. I’ve become more careful and nuanced in my views, more aware of the hidden wisdom and beauty to be found in strangers and out-of-the-way places, more thankful for time with people I love and the comforts of familiarity and belonging. But more than anything, the secret is that there is no secret – life doesn’t change because you cross a border.

And even though the official adventure is over, I’ve learned that excitement and adventure and the opportunity to make things happen don’t depend on finding a fancy fellowship. My adventures don’t end just because I’m home again. I have a month to relax and recollect myself and reconnect with my friends and family, and then I’m beginning my next adventure – working as an educator and deckhand aboard the Schooner SoundWaters in Long Island Sound. I’m pretty excited. I’m hoping to spend some of the next few weeks going through the flotsam and jetsam of this past year, the notes and pamphlets and pictures that record where I’ve been and what I’ve seen, and hopefully I’ll slowly work this blog towards a more complete account of my journey before the next big adventure begins. Meanwhile, if you want to catch up, give me a call.

1 comment:

chief. said...

Pls I like to get in touch,but there.s no contact detail on your website. I'm starting stockfish business.