How would my life be today if I never left?
“Are you ever coming back?” my father asked after I told him that I got a teaching job in Bar Harbor. I felt pretty lucky really. Most of my friends who graduated with degrees in education were working in retail or banks. Jobs in the field were scarce. It was either move to Virginia to teach or move within my own state.
“Course, I’ll be back. ‘Teach for a couple of years and then apply down here. Ya, I’ll be back.” I replied.
My parents visited me in Bar Harbor. I had been there only a few weeks, but somehow everywhere we went one of the twelve people I knew surfaced. It gave the illusion that I knew everyone. Truthfully, my world was two compacted spheres: school and home. Home had become a third floor apartment. A one bedroom. Upon first glance it was all I needed.
I became lonely except for the times that I ventured down the steep set of stairs and into the living room to watch TV with the landlord and his family. Soon I was apple picking at Merrill’s or eating a burger at Jordan’s. Slowly, my life expanded. Bar Harbor became home.
Today I sit in my mother’s kitchen. I can venture into the living room where my father and I watched countless Red Sox games. I can stand in the exact spot when I told him I would be back. Regrets? I have none. Living in the same state bestowed me with the gift of coming home and caring for my parents when they really needed me.
I love my husband. I love my children. My job. The island where we live. Most of all, I love the fact that there are two places that I can call home. I am blessed to return to both.