I’ve been gone for a while

I’ve been gone for a while

on mud-slicked pathways,
cobblestone streets,
seas so salty there was no need to tread.

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I was fumbling with words

learning the Czech lyrics to “Let it Go” from a precious 10-year-old,
slaughtering the Hungarian language, mustering no more than köszönöm -thank you,
telling a new Italian friend that I was so hungry, there was a valley in my mouth. Whoops.

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I was learning things

how to pick mushrooms – the non-poisonous ones, I pray,
drive a stick-shift, jolting and starting and stopping down some country road,
buy the right train ticket. Well, I still haven’t quite figured that one out.

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I was eating

exploring new textures and tastes, raw and steamed, spiced and pickled.
Oh, the pickles.
Allowing myself another serving when I wanted one,
and not feeling bad about it. Not for even one minute.

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I was slowing down

Slow enough to watch
the frothy milk bubbles on the edge of my coffee cup pop,

the nuns, arm-in-arm, dusty soles of their black shoes hitting marble steps as they entered cathedrals,

the man carrying a loaf of bread and a bundle of flowers for someone I never saw.

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I was listening

to the whispers,
the soft notes of the seagulls,
words to songs that I couldn’t understand, but knew were beautiful.

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I was hoping

for some sign,
some signal that THIS IS WHERE AND WHAT AND WHY, Taylor!

Surrendering to unknowns, uncertainties,
sitting in the empty spaces and acknowledging that
they are empty.

In the empty, and the full,
I was opening

to dreams buried so deep, I hadn’t known they were there,

to tears at the beauty of family, the lack thereof,
and the realization of Family Found
family given, family yet to come,

family created from meals and hugs and laughter and maybe not even a word of shared language because
family is more than that, isn’t it.

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I knew that this journey was meant to stir me up,
to cause me to question,
to push myself to the point of considering what it is,
what I need,
what I feel.

I’ve been gone for a while,
parts of me gone that I never even knew were gone
long before planes and trains and crossing borders.

But I feel that in my wandering
I’m coming home now,
or closer to home.

I’ve been gone for a while,
but never once was He.

And I’m so thankful,
so beyond thankful,
that He is bringing me to exactly where I am supposed to be.

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6 responses to “I’ve been gone for a while

  1. Been meaning to welcome you back. Taylor. Reading this a second time means I’m sending double greetings and thanks for such a lovely piece.

    Specific images you’ve described. create micro moments that I can imagine for myself while feeling happy for you. How wonderful that you’ve experienced them all and now carry them as part of you, enriching your whole being.

    Oh, and the photos are gorgeous.

    • George! Thank you so much for your kind words. I’ve been doing quite a lot of reflecting since I’ve been back in the States. It feels good to write, to process with people.

      Looking forward to catching up with you and Lori sometime soon, I hope! 🙂

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