Letters From Abroad – 30 JUN

Dear Family,

In the interest of maintaining my sanity and upholding honesty in all things, here. We’re at the halfway point and I can truly admit that there are things I miss. I may be trotting around fantastic places across the ocean, but I can still miss things. Life is like my little tin of colored pencils; beautiful and yet still missing those key shades. Let’s go around the color wheel…

Pearl: My car isn’t usually this color, but the rarity of my trips to the car wash are inversely proportional to my love of that dusty white thing. I’m not lacking for roads traveled, but even the glimpse of a highway in England feels achingly similar. But for the mirrored lanes, it’s Iowa and Illinois and Nebraska and I could believe I’m back under the Midwest clouds. I miss sitting behind the wheel and spinning through those sun-soaked miles on my own.

Brick: I thought of choosing Sangria or Berry or Garnet, but those stones that surround the Plaza are no more than this ordinary color. I already know that Chicago will feel squashed and small, but I’m ready for that. I don’t mind this endless old color, because the headlong pace of these days is its own pressure.

Coral: They may be sweat-stained and more gray than this color, but I miss my running shoes and the poor-man’s talaria that they are. Whether it’s the spit and gravel of the home road or the bumps and cracks of a Chicago sidewalk, there’s nothing quite like feet on familiar ground.

Dandelion: I don’t know when we started calling the sun yellow, but I think of it in this color and there hasn’t been much of it here. I actually miss the sweltering heat of the Midwest. Here the sunlight is white or gray and they don’t call them sunny days here: it’s “bright days,” and that usually means that the clouds have lightened just enough to remind us that there is sunlight somewhere behind them. I will always love a proper gray day, but in the constancy of these I still miss the yellow.

Cerulean: I’m cheating here, but I wanted a blue color and I think of her eyes when I see it. I miss my sister.

Emerald: I’m surrounded by beautiful cities with greenery in every lawn and window box with a level of abandon that puts Chicago to shame…but it’s not my own high green hills. We’re gearing up to go to the Emerald Isle and I love the mountains but miss the green places that I can consider mine. Strange how the emerald I think of isn’t even a plot of land I own, but I miss it in a way that all the ivy here can never satisfy.

Scarlet: for the friend and sister who lives in the state I used to…I miss you, too.

I don’t have a color for each one of you, family. There aren’t enough shades to color in what you mean to me, and I miss you in your own way. And while I can try to fit all these things somewhere in a neat little pinwheel, the truth is that even these things won’t satisfy. We’re all homesick for something, but we may arrive at home to find out that it wasn’t what we were missing after all.

Maybe missing you,

~Rae

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