“There’s nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” -Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

Re-entry after days away can be a challenge. Going from single-minded pursuit to the multi-layered reality of a large family has some jarring qualities. Especially if I have been gone for a long time, everyone has saved up their needs for my arrival and it all is overdue. My own exhaustion is accustomed to the back seat and missing the mom role makes it easy to slip into overdrive.

I missed being home a lot on this last trip because I have been struggling with my health. There is no place that I want to be more when I am under the weather. It isn’t just the comfort of the familiar, it is the absence of the adrenaline required to meet the novel that makes hometowns so appealing. Knowing where you are going and how many lights til the post office is underrated as a staple of life’s goodness.

The ease of sliding into routines also permits the weight of the exhaustion we shoulder out in the faraway to be felt. I am overcome with the fatigue of wonderful meetings, interesting conversations, long-awaited recognition and the zillions of logistical details that make most trips successful. I am so grateful to sink into the weight of the tiredness, let my bones fully feel the need to rest and stop.

I have not always been good at heeding the signals of stop. Pushing through the exhaustion is the American way. Now I want to listen to my body because I know it knows better than my mind about what I really want and need. Coming home this time was full of grateful fatigue, without a sign of the stored resentments for all that was left undone for my return. This is the real pleasure, the joy of coming home to the complex, overwhelming inner working of family life.

My hands and my heart are open and tired at the same time. I hold what I can but I get to do it while reclining in my own bed. Life is good and rest is at hand. So ready to be restored.