When I was 20 I left home.  I left quick. I left eager. I left optimistic.

I sped west gaining miles between my home and wherever the road led.


When I was 22 I met a fellow mid-westerner.  I fell for him quick. We wed eagerly, full of optimism.  Broke. Brazen. Boisterous.  Residing in unconventional abodes.  Tent-marvelous.  Subaru-cramped.  Forest service bunkhouse-pungent. Cabin-idyllic.wedding

As 24-year-old newlyweds, we ventured to Iowa for grad school. Trading big sky country for a future advertised with” fields of opportunities”.  Entering into a future often devoid of optimism.  Accumulating debt and degrees.  Degrees we doubted yet blindly pursued.  Degrees that nearly broke us but shaped us.  Laying a foundation for our nascent careers.


At 28 we marched south of the Mason Dixon.  Consuming caloric dense foods and football fanaticism.  Building a home while becoming professionals.  We learned balance.  Presented at conferences.  Won a kickball championship. Pushed our physical limits.  Peered into a history with complex race relations.


When I was 31 I came home.  Home to a state I didn’t recognize. With enough of an accent labeling me an outsider.   Home to a state I dismissed. Unearthing my suppressed desire to return.  Caught in a tentative courtship, I am reacquainting myself with my heritage.  A heritage cast from the land. Steeped in a dependence on family and community.  A heritage with equally messy race relations.  I return eager.  I return optimistic. I am home.


2 thoughts on “Homecoming

  1. I love your words and your heart!

  2. Thanks, Anna, for this reflection! SO happy you’re home! Merry Christmas! 🤗

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