I have a deep-seated desire to be a travel writer. I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to be a travel writer? Yet, since nobody has thrown money at me to have fun and eat well, (Universe: Consider this a strongly-worded hint!), this forum gives me an opportunity to pretend.
Also, Unknown Mami pretty much kicks ass.
Doing this weekly journey has been, as is so often the case, an opportunity for grace.
When we moved to Maryland back in 2002, I spent the first two years here in a depressive haze. I didn't like my job, I was lonely, and I felt uprooted. Looking for a place to channel my unhappiness, I decided that it was all Maryland's fault. The East Coast sucked. My new home sucked. The weather sucked. The only thing that could ever make me happy ever again would be returning to the big blue skies of my Arizona homeland.
Moving is hard. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.
I learned a lot about blooming where you're planted and finding good people to hold you up. I discovered that it's not the color of the sky, as much as the people under your roof. (Also, regular exercise, I found, is essential for my mental health).
I also realized that Gandhi knew what he was talking about when he said,"Nothing is constant but change." If I was to return to Arizona, it would not be the home I remembered. People move, circumstances change. Even rocks and boulders shift over time.
Upon reflection, I now understand that I was missing not so much the comfort of a place as the comfort of my own skin.
It wasn't Maryland's fault.
I needed to re-learn how to trust my voice, and, without fear, sing my beautiful song.
So. The grace in Sundays in My City is that I am more present in my surroundings. Because I blamed Maryland for so long, I never noticed the beauty and the life and the exuberance of this land. I started to listen to the voices in the Tobacco Barns, and appreciate the watery playground of The Chesapeake. I used my camera more. My eyes were opened.
So, Unknown Mami, I thank you for hosting this weekly virtual tour. It's helped more than you know.
And, because I should show some pictures, here are some images my brother captured during our trip to the U.S. Capital last week. He's the artist of the family, and he inspires me. (And, incidentally, all of these pictures were taken with his iPhone.)
(I had to throw this one of the National Museum of the American Indian in as well. I want to marry this building).