A New Topography

Yesterday evening we took a family stroll around the block. This IS the block I’ve been running around in my torture running sessions, but I never fully realized just how beautiful it was. Maybe because this section is uphill, and usually my head is down repeating whatever song lyrics will help push me up and over. Last night’s leisurely walk was especially beautiful with the moon in the distance, the sunset, and the three most important men in my life with me.

A few days ago while watching WGN (local Chicago news station that we get here), I caught a glimpse of the Chi-town skyline. It gave me flashbacks of driving on I-94 and knowing we were home. A lump caught in my throat. I must say though that being here has been good. Today Mike commented on what a nice day it was (weather-wise), and I had to reply that every day was like it. How else could I run outside? I need PERFECT weather conditions, and I’ve gotten it each time.

But more than weather or scenery is the feeling of being new or different or unfamiliar. Most people may not like it, and many times I don’t, but today I realized it’s a gift. It made me think of an assignment from graduate school where we had to attend something of a different cultural group than our own. I chose to see “I am a Man” at the St. Louis Black Repertory Theater. It started a deep love for black theater. I’ll never forget it nor the class which was teaching us how to work with minority populations. It was more of a support group than a lecture hall. We kind of became family. Professor Kirkland effectively taught us to see one another, to understand one another, and to apply that to our social work practice. What a gift.

Here I am again with the gift. My professor is Albuquerque, the Southwest, a new city, a great distance from family and loved ones, and the perspective it all brings. These things are easy to forget. I hope to remember and apply to my practice as a human in the world, called to make it a better place where redemption wins.

Our closing on our house purchase keeps getting pushed back. It’s frustrating and I long to get settled, to unpack, to get stuff out of storage, and to make a comfortable home. By the time we close, we will have been in temporary housing for over 2 months. Again though, I am trying to see the gift of being a nomad. Are we ever meant to settle anywhere? The attachments will have to wait and maybe that’s a good thing. Sometimes we need to see a new topography. It serves to remind of things easily forgotten.

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