i like coming home.
it's often surprising how normal it feels to be back here. i would think that if i visit only once every six months or less, there would be a certain degree of detachment or foreignness, but there really isn't. walking through the hall or jumping down the stairs, it all feels as familiar and as right as it did ten years ago.
i lived at home until i left on my mission for japan. then, for two years i was not home at all. it was during that time that i really began to open my eyes and my understanding to the broad world and the variety of people upon it. accompanying such an awakening to the differences of this life brought with it an appreciation for who i am and where i come from, both geographically and philosophically. the awareness of the beauty of others naturally produces an appreciation for the beauty of self.
since that time, i have rarely spent any extended time back at home. with the exception of one summer spent here, all my visits have been relegated to a few weeks at Christmas or a week or two for some other event. home has therefore become dual in nature, both that of the familiar, wherein resides the love and the memories of so much that i am, and also that of a vacation, a break from my regular life. despite the connections of cell phones and internet, when i am back in minnesota, there is a disconnection from my current affairs in utah. my family of college age kids is replaced by my original family of mom and dad, brother, and cats. interestingly, my sister and i don't seem to be out here together a whole lot, yet we are together in utah; worlds do not mix much, it seems.
i take advantage of the new environment, appreciating the appreciative mother, who once again has her firstborn to take care of [incidentally, my being home tends to attract my younger brother, and so he is more frequently seen at the house as well, bringing further joy to our dear mother], and i, as child, appreciate moreso now than i ever did before the bottomless love and care from my mother and all that she does.
i look at the town out of two eyes, seeing it as the familiar landscape i have always known, and also from a distant and objective view; no longer do i take for granted the railroad tracks along 20th, the 'whale of a wash' car wash, or the water tower that stands quiet amid the night as spotlights diligently display the proud name 'moorhead' painted on either side.
the character of the town tastes strong now that i have spent years in utah; i have traveled across the ocean, but asia is expected to be exotic, and not the united states. but when i have seen the rocky mountain west, i more fully appreciate the values and culture of the northern midwest. while utah is a land of good mormon people, experience reminds me again and again that minnesotans are some of the kindest and friendliest people in the country.
as appreciative as i am of being here, i myself am apprecaited. my father seems to look for any excuse to run off to best buy and purchase whatever i may need, understandably and admirably, albeit unknowingly, relishing in his role as provider. similarly, my mother has more than cats to take care of now, and is ready at any time to take me wherever i may want to go, prepare whatever may sound appetizing, and the lamp by my bed is always on at night when i go in.
it is good to be home. my personal schedule is not as i would like it; i tend to sleep in, my scripture study suffers in intensity and duration, and i return perhaps too long to my old 8-bit nintendo with a nostalgic smile as the cats brush against my leg, but this is my home.
last night my mom and i looked through the scrapbook she made of my life a few years ago. this book alone is a family heirloom like few others, and as we reached high school graduation, i happily acknowledged, it's been a good ride.
my dad is working to reformat my beloved laptop to make it work again [and in doing so found his excuse to run to best buy as they were closing the doors], mom has been offering me bratwursts, rhubarb bars, and see's chocolates, puzzled why i turn them down but take an orange, tim severely bests me in 'super mario brothers 3', and max, our usually very-long haired orange cat, looks rather comical in his short summer haircut.
that's the news from moorhead, mn.