Sorry Tom, But You Can Go Home Again

It was Monday Morning, shortly after 8 a.m. I had just unlocked my office door, pulled my chair out from under my desk and taken a seat in front of my computer screen. There was nothing out of the ordinary about this Monday, except the unwavering urge to go home. No, not the place where I eat, sleep and watch Netflix for 15 hours at a time. I’m talking about home. 

For me, going home isn’t about a good southern meal on the stove. I’m sure if my mom were still alive that would be different — going home might actually feel like going back to childhood then.

When I vocalize that I just need to go home, it’s because I’ve reached a breaking point; because I’ve been fighting a battle within myself and I need to retreat to a safe place to quiet my mind and recharge my soul.

Going home isn’t about the people I’ll visit when I roll into town, but about the person I become when I see the first peak in the distance as the wheels on my car carry me west on Interstate 40. All of sudden, a weight is lifted off my shoulders and I’m just me again — I’m a simpler human. Going home means finding peace, even if it is only for two days.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills.” Before I moved two years ago, I had Psalm 121 tattooed across my ribs to remind me that the mountains will always be there when I need them.

That’s the healing power of these hills. They’re always forgiving. They don’t care what you’ve done, where you’ve been or how long you’ve been gone. You can run to them when life becomes troubled, cast your worries upon them and they ask for nothing in return. There’s no shame in running into the arms of a place that makes your heart full.

Sorry, Tom, but you were wrong. You can go home again. Even if going home is simply the comforting feeling you get when returning to a place you’ve been longing for. It’s that same old feeling that keeps driving you back time after time.

I’m going home this weekend to recover that feeling and nurture that longing; and when I return to Charlotte on Sunday night, my spirit will be happy again and I can continue with my life until the overwhelming desire to return home strikes again.

My wish for these two days is simple: I want to explore the nature I so dearly miss, sit on a mountain and let my feet hang over the edge, turn my cellphone off to shut out the world, eat things that are terrible for my body, drink beer that is equally as terrible as the food I plan to consume, admire the view from my mom’s grave and tell her what’s weighing on my heart, hug my dad, let the frigid water of a mountain stream rush over my feet and just breathe. All I really want is to breathe.

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