I didn’t think I’d be homesick for Madison so quickly. There is so much to love about our new life in Mexico, one month in–I am reminded of that as a neighbor practices his accordion outside my window in the electric air of Guadalajara’s rainy season, as a poblano chile casserole keeps me from needing yet another snack for this tadpole, as the palm tree rustles in my backyard, and as my family serenely goes about our evening life. But still, I am daily reminded of the snippets of home that I miss. Our friends and family, of course, go without saying. What surprises me are the pieces of Madison that leave me longing.
Sigh. I knew that leaving Madison was going to be hard. But it’s only when immersed in this amazing new world of Guadalajara that I realize how hard. Because if I can long for a city (pssht! an overgrown small town) while in the midst of a Grand Adventure, you know it has to be good. Plus, I am, and always will be, a Chicago girl at heart. It is the place that leaves an ache in my gut, the home I long for when I am most missing any home, the comfortable world I nestle into no matter how long I’m gone. Madison for these past six years has felt like a detour, a little back-road deviation from my Chicago life. But I realize now, after leaving, that Madison has become home. And I’m homesick.
But maybe this is like a meditation–where by writing down each of these finite pieces of my life in Madison, I can release them and free up the heart space to fully love my new home (which is pretty dang cool). Because I have no doubt that when it is time to leave Guadalajara–whether that is in two years or twenty years–I’ll be aching for all that is special about this place.
While living in Mexico, I joked that speaking Spanish forced me to be far more Zen about life: Since I could only speak in the present tense, I was forced to just live in that present tense.
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