The first thing I noticed when I touched down in Albuquerque was the pace at which people walk through the airport.
Spoiler Alert: It's SLOW.
Looking down at my phone, not thinking a thing of it, I trekked at my normal pace. Warning: I walk ridiculously fast. I always have. I was surprised as I looked up to see, not a crowd of people slowed down for some particular reason, but a group of three just walking REALLY SLOW. They didn't seem to have anywhere to be, any regard that some people just want to get to Point B as fast as possible.
I immediately realized, I'm home.
You see, I now live in the land of never enough, always going, what-can-I-do-better-right-this-second. Some people call it DFW. It's not my roots, and maybe that's why it shatters me when I have too much of it. They call New Mexico, The Land of Mañana, because everyone seems to feel as though they can get something done today, but they can also do it tomorrow or the next day. No big deal. No real time or identity sacrificed. Go with the flow.
I think it's this mentality that led me to my next observation.
People hug more fiercely here.
They look into your eyes and want to know what's behind them.
They are fully with you in the moment they are with you, not wishing they were with anyone else, getting something done, running toward a moving target.
They know who you've been so that they can fully see who you are now.
You feel known and loved. In fact, I don't know that you can ever feel fully loved if you're not fully known. There's something about the combination of those two things that make it so special. You are loved in spite of that one time, in addition to your known struggles or vices, in a way that robust beauty shines amidst the broken.
Hugs are tighter here, they're a reflex of love and missing someone, not an obligation or ritual. They are a physical expression of the feeling that when someone is with you, you just want to hold them tight and not let them go, even though life demands it sometimes.
I'm thinking a lot about chasing slow (I haven't read it yet, have you?), hugging tighter. And I really miss home.
What are you homesick for? Do you think home is as sweet if you don't ever go away from it? (Let's talk in the comments!)