Last week we returned to the small town in Indiana where we had lived for five years.
We visited the historic square and shopped at the local establishments.
We ate at our old favorite restaurant.
We drove past our old house. Yikes! What did they do to my poor roses?
We even worshiped with our former church family.
It was all the same.
And it was all different.
Heraclitus of Ephesus once said "No man ever steps into the same river twice."
So true. Many things had changed in just one year's passing. Shops had closed. Restaurants had changed ownership. It was familiar, and yet unfamiliar at the same time.
I think the biggest changes were the things that you could not see. Internal changes. I've learned a lot about myself with this corporate relocation, and I've grown in areas that were a little stunted. And with this new maturity comes a comfort in my own skin.
I spent five years in Indiana trying to fit in and never quite succeeding. I was the perpetual "newcomer" of the neighborhood. On my last week there, one of the neighborhood women said to me "I can't believe you're moving already."
"Already!? I've been here for five years!" I said, exasperated.
It just wasn't home.
But here, in Pittsburgh, in an old town steeped in tradition and history, I feel a sense of connection and community. I belong here.
It was nice to visit. But it was even nicer to turn that car around and drive home.