Being home, time isn't done playing its tricks on us.
Awaiting the ferry that would bring us to our island Texel, we looked at each other: has nearly a year really gone by? Feels like just a few weeks. This great big adventure has turned itself into a million of small memories now, images and feelings that float through our beings from time to time, strange experiences that mingle with the familiar surroundings of our home.
Being home. It's funny: while travelling we called every place of which we held the key in our possession also 'home'. "After dinner, we're going straight home?", the boys would ask. Or driving a scooter, recognising our current base: "we're heading home already!"
Back home on Texel. The boys re-discover all their toys and play with all they find as if it is their job. The middle one is so happy to play his drums again, the youngest one has a sleep-over at his grandparents and the oldest one gets lost reading his big encyclopedias.
We go running, my love and I. Through the heathland, where we spurt amidst a shrubbery of purple, sweet-smelling selfheal (what's in a name!). Through the forest, we dart absorbed by green, rays of sunlight penetrating the leavy canopy, dappled ferns guiding the way, pulled through merely by the willpower in our minds and the cadence in our limbs. Into the dunes, enveloped by yet another world, passing by the Highland Cows, majestic bovines, oozing calmness and inevitableness, whilst ruminating. The dirtroads, shell-paths and sandy trails keep us on our toes. It feels good to keep on moving, to maintain this feeling of fitness. To have quiet time amongst ourselves, in nature and to keep reminding one another of the course which we've set, and to not get too distracted by 'normal life'.
Although some things are very much worth getting distracted by. The whole island is in full bloom, our timing to return couldn't have been better. Riding bikes for a whole day with my dear friend to take it all in, through renovated eyes, was priceless. Drinking dozens of cups of tea on the couch at my oldest friend's was golden. Swimming in the rain, in the lake, with a dog on my back with another friend was glorious. After-dinner cycling trips with my boys are incomparible.
But still...Texel, it's such a beautiful yet peculiar place to return to. By falling right back into the life, surroundings and people we left, our journey feels like only a pie in the sky: a mesmerizing dream to muse upon. But it wasn't something that only occured in our fantasies; we really were on the other side of the globe, in different worlds, in altered timezones, with new experiences, contrasting customs, various logic, diverse foods, changed sounds, clashing colours. Reinventing ourselves, shining light through a completely dissimilar prism on ourselves. Here, it's the same light as before, highlighting the same trades that were always in the forefront, but which are now enjoying their well-deserved break from the limelight, allowing other qualities to shine for a little (or a lot) longer.
I thought I'd mentally prepared myself for the cultureshock in the initial few weeks, still it wasn't easier to manage all the big and small practical stuff and people. The first few days I could feel it very clearly: me hanging back into my lower abdomen, noticing the pulls of a variety of strings, understanding that these used to be my cue to rush into my head and turn myself on full alert. I'd chuckle a bit, feel the tugs and decide that I'd hang loosely back, hold off, straggle some more. Now, a few weeks later, I'm not quite present in my belly anymore, I guess I'm somewhere in my chest, midway to the forcing brain, still holding on to the relaxation that has been my prerogative for a whole year, feeling a bit diffused.
So yeah, being here now grates and wringes, but I'm confident we'll find the oil to smooth things over, to find the right pace. To find the light to shine on the parts of ourselves we'd like the world to see now.
In our car, at the ferry, the five of us in our own bubble for just half an hour more, the oldest one sighed: "now our worldtrip has really ended....a couple of months at home and we're good to go again!" New dreams are blooming into consiousness. Nothing really ends, things just grow, transform, flow, alter.
Even the middle son knows that the entire concepts of space and time can not be grabbed, measured or fathomed; the other day he said: "they say we can't travel at the speed of light, but we can: when we kiss each other, the kiss will reach your heart even before the lips actually touch."