If there was one really great thing my parents did for me as a kid, it was to make sure I grew up in a neighborhood. When I was five, we moved into a house on a suburban street with a cul-de-sac, and we stayed there for the rest of my childhood. Some neighbors came and went, but most were life-ers. This gave me a sense of “place” I’ve never really been able to replicate—until very recently.
In my early adult years, I bounced around from house to house and job to job, trying to figure out where I belonged and what I should be doing with myself. Then about six years ago, right around this fall/winter season, I moved back up to Bellingham and onto a little street with a cul-de-sac. Some neighbors come and go, but many are long-termers. My running partner, Julie, lives a few doors down, and my next door neighbors are a pair of fun, smart, beautiful sisters who will be running a half marathon with me in January.
Today I went out for a short run with Fuji, the BT. From behind me I heard someone say, “It’s Cami.” I turned around to see Carol and Sharon. They slowed to my pace and we chatted for a few minutes before they ran on ahead and left me to my own thoughts. And here’s what I’m thinking: I’m grateful today for a community of people who know me by name. It’s easy to be anonymous, and sometimes it’s even advantageous, but most days it’s nice to live on a little street with a cul-de-sac and to run on trails where you might see friends. Thanks to everyone, near and far, who is part of my community. I really value you.
I am glad to know that I am not the only one who searched for a “place,” although I called it “home,” when searching for answers. I’ve settled in now, and realized that for me home is not just any one place. It is more of a place where you are loved. Home is where love is. I’ve only realized this since coming to college and easily let my “home” be where ever I may be. Cheney is home, but so is Marysville. San Francisco was my home for a little while this summer, and I know I will eventually call someplace else home. I’m not searching anymore, but I am always on the lookout for people who are! As far as you valuing us though Cami, know that we value just as much, if not more!