From Kenilworth to London, to the middle of nowhere in France, to Paris, to Iceland and then, at long last, to Boston, we are back on American soil.
Strange and surreal can only barely begin to describe how we felt leaving Europe. The time has actually come. We are back.
We spent the day before we left wandering around Paris one more time, and trying once again to figure out how we crammed all our stuff into four suitcases. It was possibly the strangest Twilight Zone-feeling-day of my life. Where was I? Was this really happening? After discarding even more of our belongings at our hotel, we got everything back in the bags. Then we spent another hour at the airport weighing our bags in turn, finding each one to be overweight, and discarding more and more stuff. We were a sight to see, and there were plenty of passengers at Charles de Gaulle Airport who took a seat and watched the show while they waited for their flights to open for check-in. We set up camp at an empty check-in desk, used their weight scale, opened all our bags, and proceeded to strew our stuff all over the place. Underwear and books and pajamas and you name it, it was unpacked and thrown all over and repacked again.
At one point an overly friendly Frenchman became curious and joined us in the packing, extracting our life story along the way. He made off with the pile of stuff we discarded at the airport, insisting that we NOT throw it away and that when we come back to France we can call him to pick up our stuff. He'll be waiting for that call for a long, long time.
In the end, every one of bags was overweight by about 3 pounds, but the dude at the desk let it slide. The looong flight home, with a layover in Iceland (cool place!), was as strange as the day before. Is this really really happening? Is this my life? Where is it going? Where has it been? Who am I?
I tried every way I could think of to process what was happening, and what has happened over the course of the past three years. But the only conclusion I could come to was that, since 2007 we have lived so richly that any attempt to quantify it, or make it ordered and sensible and decide what it all means, baffles itself.
There is one thing I know to be true, though. It’s something I think I’d always hoped was true before, but now I know it for certain.
Listen to the Musn’ts, child, listen to the don’ts,
Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, and won’ts,
Listen to the never-haves, then listen close to me:
Anything can happen, child; Anything can be.