I’m sitting at my hotel desk eating my breakfast. My mind is not here, though. I’m already, in my mind’s eye, on the long road home. The congestion and buildings of the city thin. Little communities with welcoming signs invite me to linger, but I can’t visit now, not now. I’m watching the farmlands, some beginning to green up, some still slumbering in winter hibernation, some churned up, whisking by. With each passing mile, my heart’s song is a little more joyous, a little more lyrical, a little more liting. Farmhouses, snug and warm, nestled in the land and dreaming of the coming spring, wink at me as I pass. Tall windmills, spinning and twirling high in the air, greet me as I pass. Pick-up trucks and 18-wheelers and passenger cars join my along the highways, racing beside me as if to say, “You’re almost there! The journey almost is done!” Rivers and creeks, friends with fascinating names, like Kankakee and Potato, give a cheery gurgle as I pass.
I smile to myself, reflecting on my week. How anxious I anticipated the trip, the learning, the journey! Oh, and it was so worthwhile. I wouldn’t have stayed away for anything, but now my focus is homeward, my eyes to the north.
Indianapolis, 35 miles. Chicago, 95 miles. Milwaukee 65 miles. The road signs, green, with envy perhaps, count off the miles and guide the way. Then, there it is, Cedarburg, 4 miles! And, oh, how long are those last 4 miles! My eyes sparkle, my pulse quickens, my foot presses the accelerator just a little bit harder. How the miles creep by! Like a snail running, that is my speed.
My hands turn the steering wheel to the left and then to the right. My foot gently pushes on the brake. Grabbing the gear, I put the van in park. I grip the door handle, push open the door, glance up, heart pounding in my chest. And there, a pair of sea-blue eyes look for me, a familiar grin slides across the face. Two warm arms reach out and enfold me. I’m home!