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Home Is A Pleasure

November 1, 2012

in Nepal

I didn’t know how much I needed this thing called home, but I steeped myself in it, gratefully, joyfully, gluttonously. Home is a place of refuge, and I was ready to take shelter. In May, it felt like the years of travel had suddenly caught up with me. That, and a nasty high-altitude cough. For a month or more after I returned from Nepal, I only wanted to hang out in my apartment. Sure, I went out to a few parties and dinners, visited a museum, had a birthday scavenger hunt. It’s impossible for me to be entirely homebound. Mostly though, I wanted to wake up at home, cook at home, work at home, go out for running or yoga, and then lie on my bed to read or write or simply stare at the plants. I made every day an uneventful Sunday, wrapped myself up in home and stayed there.

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Watching the plants grow.

Maybe it’s not surprising given the months in Nepal, but I haven’t craved home quite so deeply as this last year. Home is a pleasure that I had forgotten. Not the city nor the people, but rather the pace and rhythm that comes from a more routine existence. I had forgotten how good it is to stay at home and not be running full speed ahead. You might think I would get that in Nepal, but trekking means packing up my bags every morning and sleeping in a different bed every night. Days on the trail pass with a blend of ease and effort, but we’re always on the move. Double that in Kathmandu.

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Ritual Coffee is one of San Francisco's best roasters and only 2 blocks from my house.

So I came home and dallied, lounged, relaxed. For a few weeks, I fought the nagging voice in my head that said I should do more. I puttered about the house all day, I watched the plants grow, I worked in my pajamas, I came to know the folks at the corner market and at the coffee shop, and it was good. GOOD.

Life of course gained momentum. I found a new job to add to my current jobs, took summer hiking trips, went on a yoga retreat, had dinners and brunches and drinks with friends, and engaged in a plethora of activity that makes this California life so rich.

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Backpacking in the Eastern Sierras to Minaret Lake

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Camping in the meadow by the lake

Part of me is reluctant to leave. After five months at home, I feel like I’ve just now hit my stride. Another part of me is ready to close my laptop, turn off my phone, and step out into the mountains for 3 weeks. The spectacular beauty, the simplicity of villages, the spiritual culture all call me home, to my other home, to Nepal.

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