Sunday, June 21, 2015

Return to Real Life

Our flight home took us through Bogota, which we had missed out on during our drive North.  Got to take in some fun sights during our layover, experienced a fresh fruit hot tea, local food, museums, and a funicular ride!

Museum antics...
Flying in over Sedona and Flagstaff - almost home!
Our welcome home party!  Thank you for being here Heather and Molly!

I was given this poem early in our trip, and while I recognized it's meaning, it didn't really strike home as much as it does now.  We certainly loved every aspect of our journey and I know we will be ready for another excursion soon, but this poem does strike a chord of familiarity, being home.

How agreeable it is not to be touring Italy this summer,
wandering her cities and ascending her torrid hill towns.
How much better to cruise these local, familiar streets,
fully grasping the meaning of every road sign and billboard
and all the sudden hand gestures of my compatriots.

There are no abbeys here, no crumbling frescoes or famous
domes and there is no need to memorize a succession
of kings or tour the dripping corners of a dungeon.
No need to stand around a sarcophagus, see Napoleon’s
little bed on Elba, or view the bones of a saint under glass.

How much better to command the simple precinct of home
than be dwarfed by pillar, arch, and basilica.
Why hide my head in phrase books and wrinkled maps?
Why feed scenery into a hungry, one-eyed camera
eager to eat the world one monument at a time?

Instead of slouching in a café ignorant of the word for ice,
I will head down to the coffee shop and the waitress
known as Dot. I will slide into the flow of the morning
paper, all language barriers down,
rivers of idiom running freely, eggs over easy on the way.

And after breakfast, I will not have to find someone
willing to photograph me with my arm around the owner.
I will not puzzle over the bill or record in a journal
what I had to eat and how the sun came in the window.
It is enough to climb back into the car
as if it were the great car of English itself
and sounding my loud vernacular horn, speed off
down a road that will never lead to Rome, not even Bologna.

- Billy Collins

So with this, I close the chapter on this journey and click "FINISH" on this blog.  For awhile.  Look for a return and a new page....
Every place we camped in the van over the course of 9 months through South America.
Return Home Photo Album

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