Like many other trips I have taken, the ones that lead me back to my 'home' of family and friends in my Mid-South region is always adventurous. Traveling out of the mountainous regions of the Mid-West, seeing the mountain of Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado slip off into the distance in the mirror enforces the understanding of time markings of our country, and I realize that I am traveling back through time, home to an older place in my history and the Earth's history. From the high plains to the deltas, I slip into visions of the past, mine and what the world must have looked like before my 'time'. It is invigorating, and humbling.
Events fall into place, leading me to make changes to plans, and make new plans, so that the trip is always moving and I accomplish my outlined desires. It is a challenge of time, Nature, and the modern mundane world that I readily accept rather that allow it to discourage me. Weather in the early Spring is my first hurdle, with it's snow storms, high winds, and risky roads. The open plains then raise the bar with rolling thunder storms accompanied with their tell tale winds threatening tornado eruptions. Nature reveals her strength and mastery of the elements as she breaks into Spring with a fury of shaking off the old winter. She is Alive with power for any to observe,.... and most of the people do not see this majestic display as such, only head the warnings of ill weather and hold up in safety.
The events that bring me home also change and challenge me. Sometimes for reunions, other times it is festival. This time it is due to family, and servitude to the community that I once broke daily bread with. Family, the life long friends whom you cannot avoid so easily as some passing acquaintanceship, but whom you would not trade for, even for their heartbreaks. My family is spread out across this Nation, but most reside here, in this old South. Here where roots run deep for many of us, and our fierce pride raises many interpersonal issues. And although I have simple plans and many aspirations for my family, they too are forming plans and the bartering commences as soon as one reveals their plans to another until a compromise is laid out and all work toward.
I then begin to focus on my vocation as teacher, councilor and clergy. Being clergy in itself is a demand so great it easily swallows us in our service. That passion and faith drives us forward through many issues, and now is no exception. I gather, host and present ideas and concepts to other clergy of faith, clergy of other faith, and practitioners who have interests in the education and resources that we share in the service. This relay of information and the community feedback allow us as peers to share many ideas and information about our vocation, our community needs, and how we can continue to build toward our common goals. No, we do not always agree, but even then we address these differences not as arguments, but as a continued discussion of choice, decision, and practical applications of our various faiths and teachings that still bring us together and move us along. It is not so easily done, however, through replication and repetition, it becomes easier for us to achieve co-operation and interfaith growth in our community. This takes a lot of my limited time here, but the rewards are invaluable.
Now I spend time in the presence of my 'home community', peers, Elders, and friends. Time well spent in council, discussion, and the ever present and evolving work around the church for Spring events and building onto and into the church property. Working forward here as well toward goals and achieving simple steps in our Spiritual lives. Here too I contact the 'professionals' needed in finishing up family needs, and work in research of church needs. I slip right into my 'old roll' that I carried for many years of my service here as if I were only gone a few days rather than close to a decade. Meeting new faces, and embracing old friends, this part of my journey is well worth it.
As my time here draws to a close, last minute ideas and delayed events and plans now surface to my daily thoughts. I begin to iron out the wrinkles of my over-all plans and event changed goals. My easy going style starts to change into my purpose directed mode of interaction, I become a bit more serious in my actions. Still, I am subject to the hospitality of my hosts, and work with them and their needs willingly. here too I see the purpose why I became clergy, and remember my oaths of servitude, and await my 'turn' in getting my personal needs met.
Home, a place that changes with time, and purpose. I long for my return trip back to my new home, and yearn for the comfort of family and friends there, and yet I see myself secretly desiring that I could remain just a bit longer. It is a selfish thought I know, but there all the same. Yet my time here is shortened by another day, and another day closer to my return. And even though when I leave here, my thoughts and promises never do completely. I dream of the people and places here, I remain in contact for them all each and every time they call.
And the only regret I hold, is that I cannot simply teleport back each time.