Today I left my Crofton home and all my critters to return to the mainland for my mom's funeral this Tuesday. It will be the first time I have been back to White Rock, my childhood hometown, for several years. From one seaside town to another.
It will be the first time I've been inside my childhood church for probably three decades. Now I celebrate life and express my spirituality through nature, through walks in the forest, with the critters I love.
It was hard leaving all my critters, though my very capable friend Margaret is staying in my house keeping them all safe and happy for me. Allie and Eddie knew something was up the minute I pulled out the suitcase. Mitzi began to get the idea once items were piled by the door - and promptly ran into her crate with a resolute "I am NOT going with you!". Little Shiloh is probably still pacing around the house looking for me twelve hours later - she has just begun to follow me everywhere and to seek me out if she awakens from a nap and I'm not right there.
On the ferry today, I was reading my mother's journals again, as I try to pull together the eulogy for the service. Memories came flooding back, and new ones are added as I read about her own childhood, her perception of our childhood, her memories of times we spent together, her stories of things she did without us, and her perspective on aging. It was quite a journey, reading those words, hearing my mother's voice.
I was going to photograph the ocean, the sea birds, the little islands. I was going to photograph the sun setting on Mt. Baker as I drove towards my friend's place where I'm staying. Instead, my head was full of thoughts of Mom - and so it should be.
Leaving home, coming home. One where I live now, the other cradled gently in my heart.
I'll be back Wednesday, heart full from my human family and friends here, but happy to embrace my canine family and friends there. Two homes. One then, one now.