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  • It's the question I ask nearly every person I fly next to—'Are you going home, or away?'

    We're all headed somewhere, and there's usually a story that goes along. 'I'm going to my son's wedding'; 'We just came from the most inspiring conference!'; 'My wife's birthday is this weekend. She died in December, so I'm going to spend the week with my daughter. It's been hard without her.'

    The question is simple. It's low commitment, but it opens the door. Sometimes to casual conversation that passes the time; sometimes to shedding a mutual tear. At its best, the question allows two people to share, to reflect, and to relate.

    For me though, it's a perpetual theme, constantly running through my life, without a clear resolution.

    Some days I feel incredibly rooted, but almost always, a bit torn. Between staying and going. Between finding places to learn and opportunities to teach. Between the exhilaration of 'new' and the longevity of 'known'. I suppose this constant waver between two places—traveler and local, here and there—is the thing that allows me to appreciate the slow, mindful growth that comes from staying put and as well as the practice of giving attention to everyday moments that are familiar no matter where I am.

    They say life is like riding a bicycle, that to stay in balance you have to keep moving; Maybe that's the thing about life, it's the motion that matters—not whether you're home or away.
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