There's no place like home. There's no place like home.
Especially when home is chock full of wonderful things like a washing machine and dryer, clean clothing, a large bathtub, air conditioning, free water and, of course, an adorable family.
I think that it was pretty clear that I was intensely home sick during my trip to Europe. That home sick feeling shouldn't be interpreted as a lack of gratitude or regret at being where I was. It was a simple, healthy acknowledgement that I love my family and am very aware of the blessings that center around the hearth.
That home-sick feeling is actually one of the things that I most treasure about my trips away. It is a reminder to be grateful for the everyday things that seem mundane--the ability to clean my clothing, the ability to drink water, the ability to grab my children in huge hugs and listen to them giggle in my ear. Every time I have a few days away from my home, I come home feeling like I've fallen in love with my family and my life. It's a passionate love affair brought on by an aching heart.
However, Germany was astounding. I cannot describe the experience because it was just that: an experience. It wasn't a list of sights seen or places discovered or pictures taken or relatives visited. It was a constant bombardment on all my senses: new smells, images, thoughts, realizations. It was seeing a different way of life that made me question my own lifestyle and ask, "Why not?"
Why not give herbal tea another try? I've always had it warm and hated it, but my relatives in Germany served it iced and it was quite refreshing (and low-cal!)
Why not landscape my yard like my European relatives, planting flowers and herbs in every precious inch of land I own? Why not live my life outside more often and treasure the cool-morning breeze or the evening chill?
Why not build some boxes around my back patio with trellises to make a nice outdoor eating space? Or grow grapes along the fence?
Why not really become fluent in German after discovering how much I really already know?
Why not teach my boys to live life full of vim and vigor by having them help me out in the garden?
Why not spend my days discovering the history behind some of that artwork I saw in the museums? Why not grab some paint brushes and try to surprise myself?
Why not think about installing a small pool in our backyard ... someday?
Why not learn more about fashion so that I can fit in next time I travel abroad?
Why not... why not... why not...?
I feel changed by the intense feeding of my soul that occured in Germany. I don't know how I've changed, but I can feel that I am not the same person I was two weeks ago. I like this feeling of growth and cerebral expansion. My muse was well-fed and now she must be well-exercised to give those seeds of creativity room to expand.
All is well, all is well.