Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Farewell Haines V.4

For the fourth time in my life, I'm leaving Haines, Alaska. For the second time, I'm not in a position where I can tell or say when I'll be back. For the first time, I couldn't help but cry as I boarded the ferry. I've pretty much gotten over crying for farewells - I started numbing myself to the process back when I was 17 and learned how painful it could be. As a result, I decided not to care. And, despite how much I tried not to care this time around, I did.

I don't want to leave this place.
There is so much love here.
I feel so safe here. After months of going through the desire of wanting the rug to be pulled out from under my feet, I feel a odd sense of pleasure in this illusion of security.

These past two months in Haines have meant even more to me than the year I spent in Haines in 2012. I felt connected and rooted. My focus, this time in Haines, wasn't just on my job or cash, it was on the humans that make Haines what it is.

In this short amount of time, I went through a few seasons. I went through the honeymoon phase, I went through the phase of not having much to do, I went through the phase of having every minute filled with activities, I went through the phase of feeling at home and the phase of getting itchy feet that drove me into strong desires to go elsewhere, I went through the phase of feeling utterly wonderful and the low times that lasted day after day.

But, overall, this time meant a lot to me. It was so precious.

During this time in Haines, I got to build stronger relationships with the folks I had known before or merely brushed shoulders with. There was a core group of families that especially welcomed me into their homes. Last time when I left, there were certain people I felt like I had barely even begun to get to know, this time, I got to meet up with them again and that was beautiful.

It was a season of being blessed and being given the opportunity to bless others.

Over and over again, people welcomed me into their homes which meant so much to me. As a solo traveler, I crave connections with other people and need that daily encouragement to keep myself in a healthy mental state. I need those families that will casually have me over all morning as the kids chip away at their school work or the families that invite me over to make music or curl up in a blanket for a good film.

There are two things that will keep drawing me back to Haines – and I know, I know I'll keep coming back.

See that red building down there? That was my home.
I'll always come back for the mountains. Haines is surrounded by majestic mountains that dare you to not believe in God. They loom over us, demanding awe and admiration. Haines is like living in a set of postcards. There are views that I've seen hundreds of time and still can't get over their beauty.

It's also those humans that call me back to Haines. I was planning on not coming back to Haines for a while, but, after saying those good-byes, I don't know if I can stay away that long. There are a lot of folks that I like having in my life and, in share, I've been told they don't mind having me around. I like watching the kids grow up – I love them so much.

I was prompted to come back to Haines with the birth of Pearl. It all began with a culmination of reminisces and relationships, but it was her birth that stirred me to buy my ticket home back when I was in Ukraine this summer. She could get her own blog post as I write about how honoured I am that her parents have allowed me to be a part of her life. I could write for hours about daily snuggles with the tiny little muppet. I can't stay away and miss watching her grow up, can I? And she's one of many children I've fallen in love with in Haines.

How did I end up falling for this place? Will I forever be coming back here? I suspect so.

But,  for now, it's time to leave again. Maybe I'll be back in a month and a half, maybe in half a year, maybe in a year – I can't even guess anything older than that because a year would be much too long although, with the way my life tends to pan out, you never know. I do, know, that I'll be back.

Farewell, Haines, Alaska.

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