Driving back from my parents today, I was entertained as the leaves were falling and swirling down from the trees (yes, here in the Deep South our trees still have leaves on them even though its January). It reminded me of the butterflies dancing in Guam. Several have me if I miss Guam. It's not a simple yes or no answer for me. I miss Guam like I miss all the places we have lived. Each location had special places and people that will always be close to my heart.
...In southern California I miss the mountains...Drew and I would go hiking alone or with friends no matter the season. We, also, had an amazing group of friends. We would get together to play cards to the wee hours of the morning. So, much fun.
...In Albuquerque I miss the mountains there as well. We lived at the base of the Sandia's - five minutes from our house we could be at a city park hiking the base of the mountain. With our friends there we learned how to play the Farming Game. Which at times we also played into the wee hours of the morning! I taught middle school in Albuquerque - at times I miss that as well.
...Next we were in Japan. Wow. What an amazing two years. Living in a different culture than the one you grew up in, in an experience all should do if able. There's no price for seeing the world from a new perspective. And of course, the friends there were great - all had an adventurous spirit willing to explore with us.
...Then we were back in California - central coast this time. We got so spoiled by the weather! It's a lot like San Fransisco - in the 60's with a strong wind all. the. time. And yes. More friends to play cards with. And yes, on occasion to the wee hours of the morning - but admittedly, not as late or as often as we had children by this point!
...On to Virginia and Maryland for our East Coast time...both places were places of great spiritual growth as both deployments happened. But God provided there as well great friends to help us through. The verses that talk about His mercies being new every morning were alive and well with us during these times.
And that brings us to Guam. As I said, I miss the butterflies. I miss the beach. I miss watching the sky turn from pitch black with sparkling stars to the sun shining brightly over the Pacific on my early morning walks. I miss exercising with my friends....no where else have I ever been so motivated to do exercise my best. I miss my Bible study ladies....maybe that's what I miss most. I miss the sheer beauty of the place as well as all the places in the area we traveled to.
But I also have no desire to live there again. I know my time there is over - never to be re-lived. And I'm okay with that. I'm happy here. Is it perfect? No. Do I have dear friends yet that we can play cards with to the wee hours? No, not really. But I know I'm heading in that direction. I,also, love the fact that I'm close to my parents. Several times like this week, my mom needed help with my dad and I have been able to drive over and help. No more thinking about time zones before I call... no more traveling for days - yes, days -literally- for a visit.
Life is all about living, but it's living in the here and now - not dwelling on how life use to be or how you want life to be in the future. It's the now. Jimmy Buffett once recorded a song, "I Love the Now".