...And that's to say, yeah I'm leaving...But I don't have to go there.
I don't have to go to Spring Street.
Because its spring everywhere.
I thought my spring involved leaving. I was happy with my plan, and too angry to look back. Hindsight is 20/20...and I guess I'd rather eventually see 20/20, no matter how frustratingly-timed, than to never see it at all.
I thought my spring hinged on this move...on this new beginning, and the way I was raised it was ingrained in me to turn to 'new beginnings,' so I never questioned that. Now for the first time in my life I sense home, and I know where it is. And it's not where my family is, although I thought that may have been the case. And it's not where the majority of my family thinks I "should" be. And it's not "less" home because it is far from them.
And it's not the familiarity or the memories. It's not the sound of the Muni, the farmer's market, the sparkling bay on a sunny day, or the freedom to feel glum on a foggy one. It's not calling Papalote and having them know my voice, or sitting in my kitchen with the ravished spread laid out on the table and offering Karen the last bite of my rice and bean super burrito 'cause I know she wants one last bite. It's not merchants of 24th; the Fernandas or the Jules or the Joes. It's not the exhilarating thigh-burn I get when I walk anywhere, nor the fun disdain for the Marina. It's not cheering with Random Dave at the Dub on an autumn Sunday morning, or Karen hearing the homeless guy ride his shopping cart down 24th Street at 11pm and hurry up and look or we'll miss it this time. It's not the obnoxious sound-making knick-knacks lining Mission Street storefronts, or posters of leather-clad beefcakes lining Castro Street. It's not the spot on Fair Oaks where so many nicely-potted plants have been arranged by a bench and I look down toward my house and everything feels good and the sunlight peeks through to the sidewalk and I can hear the kids over at the Adda Clevenger playing during recess. It's not donuts on Christmas morning or Bart's ravioli on Thanksgiving. It's not fixed-gear bike riders, or riding my own bike across the bridge, dodging the Blazing Saddles renters, and around and then up to the tippy top of the Headlands with my calves on fire and my heart pumping and my lungs heaving, and looking back on the city and getting goosebumps.
No, all those things are just nice memories I feel lucky to have like all the other thousands I'm forced to keep in my mind from the myriad of places I've lived.
Home? Home is where the heart is.
And I want to come home.