A week ago I woke to the skies weeping. It was a day of endings and beginnings and seemed somehow appropriate. I shoved the last of my things in my duffel, picked up the boxes lined up like soldiers in the hall, and headed downstairs. I turned in my key and waded through the sea of last-minute hugs and goodbyes. I was the first to leave and we looked at each other like we couldn’t believe it was over. The year, gone. Just like that.

I drove off campus that day with Eric Peters singing,

There’s so much to be thankful for, And so much to be forgotten…

At times I thought this year was going to destroy me. Other times I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. It was hard, yes, but it was beautiful. And saying goodbye was harder than I thought it would be.

Twenty-four hours later we pulled into the driveway. Home.

It’s been a slow week of late mornings on the front porch swing with a mug of tea, time with good friends, and unpacking. It’s been full of good movies and better books.

In the midst of all that, though, I’m still working to readjust. Getting used to life away from home was hard. I don’t know that I can point to another time of such rapid change. But now I’m coming back and settling in. And I’m finding that I just don’t fit quite like I used to.

A year ago one of my mom’s friends told me that leaving home is like taking a slice out of a pie. Even if you try to put it back it doesn’t fit the same. The slice changes while it’s on the plate, but so does the pie. The edges don’t line up perfectly anymore and frankly, it can look a little awkward.

So I’m working my way back into life at home. It’s harder than I thought it would be, but like so much else this year, it’s good. It’s good to be home with people who know me and love me. It’s good to wake up in the morning to the smell of bacon on the stove. (Thanks, mom!) It’s good to have dinner with my whole family.

And it’s good to rest, to soak up time on the front porch, to slow down. This year has given me so much to process. So much to be thankful for, so much to be forgotten.

Now to figure out which is which.