This week has been a whirlwind...of boxes, furniture, trucks, people, and emotions. Moving from Ohio back to Georgia has certainly been an exhausting process, but as I sit here tonight, I know that it has all been well worth every ounce of effort and energy. While there are still pieces of my heart that remain in Ohio (and likely always will), I know in the depths of my soul that I have returned home.
My year in Ohio was miserable in some ways and yet looking back, I am grateful for all that the year offered. Beyond the beauty and serenity of living on a farm and the experiences I gained professionally, I met some truly amazing people. And one of the most important gifts I received from my year in Ohio was my deep appreciation of my Southern roots and heritage. Being so far away offered me new perspectives. The simple every-day aspects of life I had always taken for granted became treasured moments and I learned to embrace being a "Southern belle".
Now that I have returned home (albeit a new home in a new city in Georgia), I am able to take in those simple moments and feel the life being breathed back into me. The sounds of crickets and tree frogs recreate the melody of my childhood. The balmy summer air is like a time machine...taking me back to so many nights of laughter and bare skin and long conversations...taking me forward on a new journey beyond adolescence and my 20's, onto a path of being immersed in the place that witnessed my entrance to this world and helped me grow into the woman I am today.
Despite my happiness about returning to the South, it has been (and continues to be at times) a difficult transition. Leaving behind what feels like another world to re-enter this one has left me feeling myriad, overwhelming emotions. And yet tonight, I sit here on my back patio, and I am comforted in realizing that Ohio and Georgia are not two separate worlds. I look up and see an entire sky filled with stars...the same stars I wished upon during my quiet nights in Ohio. So maybe I'm 800 miles further south now. Maybe the sounds are different and the air is different. Maybe the people and experiences will be different. But being home does not mean that the past is gone. I can still wish upon these same stars in the same night sky.