Friday, February 21, 2014
What Is Familiar Is Calming
This week I am back in Front Royal and made a big decision. My original trip was going to be three weeks long but I was finding myself steadily getting more and more tired even while resting. I called the airline and changed my flight back to Michigan to the 23rd rather than the 2nd. Immediately I felt a total sense of calm and relaxation. So I knew this was the right decision. I am going to really miss that extra week with friends but at the same time, I can see now that three weeks was a bit long for me just now:)
So here I am in Front Royal around the places and people I have known longest and I was happy to see that here at least, while there has been change, there isn't that sense of being left behind. Granted, time hasn't stood still here either but I think I had a deeper connection to this place that even though I've been gone a long time, I'm still a part of it.
A friend of mine who runs a film company I use to work for summed it up for me. Since I last saw them, they have grown into a new suite of offices and the business has really taken off with lots of new faces. Last time I stopped by their office the other day, my friend gave me a really big hug and told me that I had been grandfathered into this new family! I had to get out of there pretty quick because that one statement was going to bring on the water works for me! It meant more to me then maybe he knew. While life has moved on with them, they weren't leaving me behind no matter how long I was away. That was just the way it was, like it was a forgone conclusion:)
I'm not in any way saying that other friends don't say the same thing and mean it whole heartedly, but there is a difference. One I can't quite put my finger on. I think the difference is because this place and these people have known me longest. I went through a lot of growing up here and most of these people saw that or were a part of it.
I joke with friends a lot about Front Royal but the truth is, this town and these people played a big role in my life. They give me inspiration, encouragement and reminders...all things we need as life moves on.
Last night I had dinner with my oldest friends in town, Heidi, Mike and Cameron. I met this family within a few months of coming to Front Royal when I was 18 and first starting Christendom. They are the friends that no matter how much time goes by, it's like it has just been a day or so since you last saw each other. Heidi is like a sister to me, someone I can confide things to that I wouldn't think of saying to anyone else.
While I am leaving Virginia early, that choice has enabled me to do more here in Front Royal and reconnect with a place and with people who have seen me change in many ways over the years. This last change, they know maybe better then I do that I've got this covered. That this change is just another step through life. That is a soothing feeling to me. While I know I don't have to pretend to always be feeling great around any of my friends anywhere, there is a safe feeling about being in this particular place and around these particular people. More of a home feeling.
I'm happy to know that no matter how much life might change, where I might go and change myself, I can always come back here and know, even if all my friends have moved away, this place will always be a home to me. Walking down Main Street, driving up Skyline, or just sitting in the park listening to the ever changing sounds of children backed by the never changing sight of mountains, this is home. I know when I'm completely better I want to come back here even just for a few days to get lost on the trails that crawl over mountains and valleys. A total sense of peace and happiness! And I AM going to get there!