Four months ago, Brett and I returned to Spain for a ten day visit. It wasn't a vacation, really.....Brett had to go back to defend his dissertation (which he did, just as amazingly as I expected) ....but since we were there, we had a lovely time drinking as many coffees as possible, taking dozens of pictures, speaking Spanish around the clock, using all sorts of public transportation, (me and the baby using as many public restrooms as we could!), meeting up with and catching up with old friends, enjoying the foggy Pamplona weather....basically, I felt like we had never left.
It was a bit unreal, how easily we slipped back into that life.
I discovered that the most unexpected things made me nostalgic -- oh, the Spanish bathrooms! oh, that dry landscape outside of Madrid! oh, the long rows of olive trees in the south (that I had never seen before)! oh, that nice strong Spanish cheese!
I discovered that I missed my sweet team , and that I wished they were all there with us (instead of far away in Mexico City), and that I wished we could stop by their apartment or their coffee shop and have those conversations that were so much a part of our daily lives.
And, at the end of our ten days, after all that nostalgia and the missing, I was surprised to discover that I was glad to go home to Ohio. Even though I know that we're exactly where we're supposed to be, this transition to not-living-in-Spain has been more difficult than I expected. My year and a half back in the states has helped me forget all the heartbreaking things about living in Spain and instead remember only the good things. And so, I had wondered if visiting the place I had been longing for would make it even more difficult to return to our little apartment in our little mid-west town where I am ever struggling to widen my little circle of friends.
I was blessed to discover that being back in Spain made me long for Ohio (of all places!) -- just where we're supposed to be.
having coffee with my sweet friend Marian