Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin

Moving Toward the Sensation of Going Home

I had forgotten how beautiful the woods of the northeast are, even those just visible from Highway 95 between Baltimore and New York.  Despite the constant cover of overcast skies, the air is steadily growing warmer, and my skin tingles when I step outside. From the ancestral recesses of my unconscious brain creeps forth the urge for movement, and for change. On every side, the grey branches are touched with maroon and lime, the budding products of the forest's last energy stores, gathered so greedily by last year’s leaves.

I’ve been on the road for the past week, house-jumping. An idyllic weekend in that most mannerly of cities, Charleston, with its slave heritage reborn on the back of an air force base and tourism. Ben and I strolled its cobbled streets, took the ferry to Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. We read a book on the history of Charleston, we ate too much pork belly, and we reveled in each other’s company. The days are always too short. We spent, too, a night camping at Huntington Beach, waking before sunrise to seek birds. Our reward? A good look at the endangered Piping Plover, a visit from a beautiful mink, and a chat with some ocean fishermen over the sea trout they’d just caught. Ben is deep in research for his master’s project, with so many opportunities laid out before him, and I delight in the possibilities of where he will walk next.

Aiken-Rhett House, Charleston

Then, off to Boston. My partner and I sometimes have different ideas about the figures, the look we want. But we made a breakthrough on our last day of practice, and we begin to come together and create something that feels fresh and exciting. And so I feel launched forward again in my dance journey, the passion for this artistic sport still running hot in me.

My last stop was in Baltimore, to join Steph and her mom on a very special day – Match Day. On Match Day, fourth year medical students find out where they will spend the next 4-8 years of their life as interns and residents. There is a ceremony. They hand you an envelope, with the name of your future home. For Steph, that new home is Emory, in Atlanta. And although I am sad that I’ll no longer be just a short bus ride away from her, I am excited for all the success and opportunity that this new path will bring. And I realized, watching Steph’s mother, that there is such thing as single-hearted devotion to love, to another person, and what a precious ability that is.

In the midst of all of this, my client launched their sustainability report site, wrapping up the final details of our project. It feels good to see the product of our work from the past 4 months, and to begin thinking about how I can be a better team member the next time.

By tonight, I’ll be back in my own bed. New York has become my pillar, offering even in its state of constant activity, a place of calm centeredness. There is much to do – grant writing, taxes, cleaning, and grocery shopping. I have letters to write, and people to catch up with.  I’ve been listening to a lot of Coldplay these days while I work. Their music throws me back to a more tumultuous time in my life, a more emotional and uncertain time. I was a junior in college, also exploring New York, but even then driven by the things I loved to do – communications, dance, art.  How little I knew then. And yet, how wise I was to allow my emotions to rule me. There is such thing as becoming too concerned with doing the right thing. Then, I knew what was right not through logic, but through emotion and feeling. And although in life and in love I thrashed my messy way through, often too single-minded to consider the larger picture, when I look back I have no regrets.

The windshield of the bus is pelted now by a mix of snow and rain, the world turns foggy and dim around us. We proceed carefully past the messy ruins of construction and sound barriers. Headlights coming the other way are brightly streaming stars, and we follow their dust. I feel I have finally found peace, not in being anywhere in particular, but here in the sensation of going home.

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