Where am I?
I am right where I started. Looking out the window to the backyard, next to my Sushi Isabelle. Who is out there, Sushi? What’s out there? Some squirrels, a couple of cardinals, and a heat so strong, we have to wait until the sun is gone to go out.
It seems long ago that I was living in Boston. It feels like a different world, that apartment with that beautiful tree outside the living room window. I used to sit, drinking a coffee, burning a candle or incense, reading the news, pondering the world and how I should direct my energy that day. My memories left are mostly of people, of moments with a couple friends doing the best we could to maintain our sanity, to do our work, and to share in precious days of being students.
It is perhaps only in 2020 that one would graduate virtually from a Harvard masters program, turn 30 years old and move back to one’s parent’s home. With borders closed to get to Colombia at least until September, it seemed like the best decision for me to be home with my parents, given the world of strange and unpredictable circumstances.
It’s been a wonderful gift – to have time with my parents in the day to day and to have walks, runs, yoga, lunches, breakfasts, dinners, prayers and conversations together. I offer my services with some dish cleaning and cooking dinner once a week, as well as reminding my mom to buy ice cream for dad and I when I know she might “forget.”
And I keep thinking about how I really haven’t been home like this for 12 years, since I left high school. I am wondering if the culture of “flying from the nest” pulls us unnecessarily apart? Is this woven into our American culture? What is the point of “making it on your own” with family visits a few times a year with long drives or plane rides, when you could live in the same city and have a meal together once a week, a game of tennis, or a “easy” 6-mile jog?
Maybe I feel this more strongly because I love my family deeply on both sides, through aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents to great aunts, distant relatives, all those connected to Voss or Robertson. It does seem odd not to be able to get together as often as we would like, to share our love with each other.
This is something that I didn’t always understand or feel, not really, until I lived in Bogota with Santiago and got to spend time with his family. I felt as if we could have the excitement and happiness of thanksgiving every few weeks with his family. Going over for lunch around 1pm and then leaving full of food, laughter and happiness by 8pm.
My family, my beloved family, never had that ability to stop by on the weekend for a meal because we were the only ones in South Carolina. I know this is one of the greatest sadnesses of my parents having in lived here (a place that they do love to live!), but I wonder how my generation has continued to perpetuated this living farther from “home”, and if it’s really helping us grow?
This is now my sadness too, one where I also chose to live far from the nest. A sadness that I will hold, as I choose to live far from my family, with my Santiago in Bogota.
Making this time at home with my parents is precious. Moments that none of us will have again. We will never be living though this pandemic of COVID-19, in this stage in our lives and the work that we do, ever again. I hope to continue to cherish this time with my parents, and with my 17-year-old, 3 legged, Sushi girl, who follows me around the house.
But even when we aren’t physically together.
We hold our family in our hearts every single day.
They are always with us.
You are alway there with me.
Thank you for always being there.