The thought occurred to me as I was taking another stroll down the gravel road towards the main road in. I have been coming here for my whole life and looking at the road as I walked up it, I realized how little seems to have changed. Some of the outlines have changed, but the major contours of the land remain the same after four decades - in some cases, the trees have only grown bigger, not moved.
Four decades of coming up and yet I find myself very far away - a place that I always seem to be seeking to return to, in spirit if not in fact. Why is this?
It was at this moment, wandering through the trees, that suddenly the thought of performing kata came to my mind: how much I enjoy Iaido and how much I have learned.
And then came the thoughts of all else that has occurred since we moved: the people we met, the things we have seen, the humidity we have endured (not so notable, of course)and the activities that I have been able to participate in: Iaido, Heavy Athletics, running, cheesemaking, even more rabbits, authoring books.
Would I have found these things if I remained? Possibly. But in going away, what came to my mind is that I have expanded more than what I very well would have had I simply remained where I was.
Does such a thing preclude a return? I do not believe so. Even as I had not planned the going out, so I suspect any return would be a surprise as well: a random event not suspected but ultimately welcomed.
Perhaps that was the great realization as I crunched my way down the road back both to my past and to my future: the going away has not made less attached or less connected but rather more full so that in the event I were to return - or even if I never do - I will find myself greater for the experience.
And I, like the countours of the land I passed by, will be the same even as overlay of my life becomes more vibrant and full.