I’ve been surprised over the past few weeks to find the roads becoming more familiar, the paths settling deep in my brain, moving about Lancaster without having to rely on a native or GPS. It’s rewarding when you can move in and out of the city and its suburbs, connecting one road to another, trusting that gut instinct.
For a year I would drive back and forth from Media, PA to Lancaster every other week. I had to rely on my native to navigate, I was blissfully unaware of how to move about the city, how to find myself in Lititz, the way to get to Mt. Gretna. When that year turned into months of living in Lancaster, I still found myself relying on his directions. At a point it became like we were both tired of this dependency. He never wanted to direct, I only wanted to listen.
As I look back upon this time it seems so far gone. This summer I enjoyed getting lost in Lancaster County, of taking a road and driving straight ahead, of letting some internal compass steer me home. I was overjoyed by the fact that no matter which way I chose, I would always reach my destination. And how beautiful that trip was.
Any way you leave Lancaster, it’s through fields, peaks and valleys or expansive open space. It has overlooks that take your breath away, it winds deep into the Pequea Valley and up to the edge of the Susquehanna. You will pass miniature horses, goats and cows galore, satisfying for any animal lover. It’s so easy to find yourself in nature, to lose yourself in the winding trails.
Many of us have ventured out of Lancaster today, perhaps back to where we grew up or an in law’s, or even boarded a plane to some place far away. I am happy to be back in Media, with friends and family. But it’s hard to call it home, the definition becomes blurred, the fact that my roots now lie elsewhere.
As you welcome everyone to the table this afternoon and share new stories, old memories, love and thankfulness, I hope you feel at home, no matter where you chose to be.
I must say I am thankful for so many things this year, so there’s no need to bore you with the details. Go eat some turkey and take your thankfulness with you back home and to the people around you. After all, wouldn’t it be lovely if thankfulness was contagious?