I’ve been home for six months today. At last I can say home without using quotation marks, as Victoria once again feels like home – not like forever or an anchor, but as a friendly and knowing place to rest and reset. I still miss Jamaica. I miss the sea; I miss the people; I miss the experience of being a contribution through my daily activities. And, I miss who I was there – active socially and physically, healthy, nourished, free – I don’t know why those things feel so much less accessible here. Either way, the missing has less ache and more sweetness in it these days.
Tomorrow I will host a Jamaican feast & fundraiser to benefit Cuso. All week as I’ve been cooking my house has been filled with the scents of ginger, coconut, allspice (pimento, for you Jamaican readers), curry, hot peppers, pineapple – the scents of Jamaica. I am excited for the party as a way to share with people here a little more of that experience; to share my favourite Jamaican foods (jerk chicken and ginger beer get in mah belly!) as well as some more meaningful lessons and stories.
When I first got home all I could say was the places I had been and the adventures I had had. It all had a breathless overwhelm in my attempts to articulate it. Now I can differentiate – I can say why I’d return to Negril but probably not Ocho Rios. I can enumerate the many reasons more visitors should have Kingston on their tour list. I can explain why I prefer Appleton Special to Appleton V/X. 😉 I can talk about what I learned from my friends and colleagues, and what I continue to learn.
I’ve been home for just longer than I was in Jamaica. It’s time to start looking forward. I promised myself before I left Kingston that I wouldn’t make any major decisions for 6 months. Having thrown my entire life up in the air this time last year, I knew I needed to see how things have landed. Some things were rocks and landed quickly. Other things are feathers and still subject to fluttering in wisps of wind. I know there are more adventures to be had, and I will have them. I know there are financial adjustments to be made, and I am looking at how to make them with grace and velocity. Pressing pause for six months was useful in those “oh my lord this is not my beautiful life” moments/days/weeks. Now that the pause button has come off, there is no pressure to make any big decisions today.
Time flies. Time also soothes. And six months is a calming blink of the eye.