It was the worst week to take a Thursday and Friday off of work.
It was the most inopportune time to fly over halfway across the country.
It wasn’t profitable to visit a friend I hadn’t seen in almost two years.
It was exactly what I needed.
To experience the thundering of stomping feet during a nightime college football game. The youthful rowdiness and overwhelming pride in one’s school before a national audience.
To feel and experience the generosity and warmth of a young couple making it on their own.
To buy a burger and fresh-cut fries, savoring the fatty, potato-ey taste amidst a cold evening long after my usual bedtime.
The feeling of life I get in a 30 degree morning, running through the foothills above Salt Lake City in the light of the moon.
The lounging around on a Saturday afternoon, sitting in a French café as I treat those who’ve opened their homes and their lives for me.
The goofy way I ask for my burger cooked at In-N-Out, as the cashier smiles and recites the request.
Saturday football watching at my leisure. It’s not the action of the four screens, but the presence of my best friend on my left.
I had forgotten how much I missed being thankful. I had forgotten what it meant to get away. I had forgotten how much I missed the voices. The bitter morning cold. The Big Sky and the lingering sunsets. The accents and even the damn hot chocolate and caffeine free diet coke the Mormons drink. The way my lips chap up; the sight of alpine homes and kids being kids, and feeling and feeling of something just being right.
My soul, on a flight back after a vacation too short, is here and now, forever and always, walking away from home. Walking away from Utah.
Next time, I won’t wait so long to walk back.