I’m peering out of an airplane window, my head weary and eyes glistening as I watch the sun rise over the hills, and I’m having a very visceral and physical reaction to leaving here.
Rapid City, South Dakota. This used to be my home. It was only for a short while, but it was a time that held such importance. This town marked us as a family. It signified an arrival of sorts, a settling in, the planting of our roots as we built our home and birthed our child. When I left here two years ago, I was thankfully enveloped in a foggy shroud that protected me from any reaction. But this time, today, my departure feels so final.
When the tenants of our property here gave notice of their lease recently, I knew a moment I had been dreading had arrived. It was time to let go of our house, but I couldn’t do it without seeing with both my eyes and my heart that it is now just a house, no longer our home. I didn’t want to. But when an idea I’ve had bouncing around my mind of planting a memorial tree for The Hubs began to come to fruition at the same time, I knew God had spoken. It was time to go back.
I arrived here last Wednesday after making the pilgrimage that my spirit has been needing for a long time. I needed to see this place again with clear eyes, to say goodbye properly and allow myself to give this place and our time here a peaceful farewell. I needed to see the people I left behind so quickly, to say thank you to the community of amazing souls that surrounded me during such a difficult time. And I needed to know there would always be a piece of us here, just like a piece of this place with always be with me.
My time here ended up being so much more than I thought it would be. It was emotional, packed with intense moments and memories. It drew strong reactions out of me and reopened the connection to my emotions that has been severed for a while. It was physical, with a lot of time spent in nature, hiking and photographing. It created a deep sense of motivation in me, a longing to rebuild my strength and endurance. And it was mental, filled with a lot of important decisions and judgements about the present and the future.
I have so much to say about the last few days and the impact this time in Rapid has made, but each moment is worth its own reflection and its own post. So for now I’ll settle for quiet reflection as I watch the pink sun slowly rise on its inevitable journey upward. May my own climb be as colorful and graceful…