I don't want to know how long it's been since I've posted a blog. It's been a really long time, right? A really, really, really long time. I've run out of things that I think are worth saying. That's my excuse.
I've been thinking about places and the idea of home. I was born in Oregon but I moved to Montana when I was (I think) 6 years old. I have spent most of my life in Montana and most of my memories were grown here in Montana. However, there is still a part of me who thinks of Oregon as home. I used to always list "Baker, OR" as my hometown when I was younger but that eventually changed to "Butte, MT." I haven't been back to Baker, OR since I moved away all those years ago. I don't even know if I could recognize my home there if someone pointed it out to me. I have not spoken to any of the friends I made there in decades and I have never been back. Still, though, when I make the trip into Oregon I feel like pieces of me are sliding into place. The Columbia River Gorge is an artery that branches from my body and mind and I follow it to the places that feel like a bed that's been warmed for my return.
My husband and I moved to Vancouver, WA shortly after our first son was born. I have family there and it was familiar and friendly to me. Our second son was born there and I left behind wonderful friends, moments, and lessons. I left behind easy access to Portland, a relatively short trip to the coast, and a piece of myself that was left in the area long ago. I came back to Montana because it had become home when I wasn't looking.
My heart is in too many places. My heart is in my two children who run around and grow and push my limits. My heart is in my husband who works so hard and makes me want to be better. My heart is in Butte, MT with my parents and brother and my dear friends and the formative years of my adolescence. My heart is in Washington with the friends I made and the strength I gained from people who were face to face with the end. My heart is here in Montana and it's in Oregon, Washington, California, all the way in Japan and wherever anyone and anything I've chosen to love has gone or has stayed.
In the midst of all the scattering and the broad sweeps, I want to gather and hold. I want, in short, a hug.