Technically, of course, I come from Jennings, Missouri by way of a maternity ward in St. Louis. I can’t even claim that I spent half of my life in Kansas City before moving to California, due to those five stray years in Arkansas. But the city by the river, Royal blue and somewhat worn around its edges, still feels like home.
Don’t fret, people of NORCAL. I’m coming back. I make no cheesy lament about having left my heart there, but Angel’s Haven sits by your rivers, in the midst of your own tattered old Delta. I’m returning. I’ll make my way to Jim and Nancy’s driveway where the RAV4 sits. I’ll dine with Jim and talk about our respective sons; his job; my employment search; and Rotary matters, including Shelterbox in which that friend, a member of the San Rafael Harbor Rotary Club, plays a major role. The next day, I’ll join another NORCAL transplant for lunch at a Bay area restaurant. The spray of my Pacific will kiss my face as I walk along the street.
But I’ve felt the comfort of home during this week in Kansas City. I’ve finished some cases; I’ve transferred others to new counsel. I’m rummaged in my storage unit, filling the rental car with items from the Holmes house bound for my son or for safe-keeping at my sister’s house in St. Peter’s. I’ve filled the time between these tasks with coffee-shop hopping. I’ve seen a host of my own special angels, the men and women whom I most closely call my tribe here.
There’s truly no place like home. Yes, I understand: You belong where you take your heart and in the place where you find your heart’s desire. Dorothy has nothing on me. Nor does Edward Albee: I get that I must go a long way out of my way to come back a short way properly. But the very wealthy among us know that we can have more than one home. So I stake my claim here, Kansas City; and there, too, St. Louis; and 1800 miles west of here by the sea. I need no walls. I need no strict address. I take my comfort with me.
It’s the fifteenth day of the fifty-second month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.