The plane descends, seat belts are fastened and chair backs are returned to their “Upright and locked position”. The mountain appears and the plane banks north to land. Welcome home.
There are places where the heart beats a little quicker, where emotion and memory surface; sometimes tears well. Welcome home. I saw this once while landing in Buenos Aires. I was looking out of the window on approach and a passenger said to me, “It must be like a vacation for you.” No, I replied, it’s like coming home, I looked to a woman across the aisle beside me as she wiped tears from her eyes. Welcome home, I said to her.
My heart beat faster when I would leave Miami in the early morning hours just before sunrise; something about leaving that sexy town that I called home at sunrise got to me. And for the eight years I lived in Canada? Nothing. Nothing on approach, nothing on landing and nothing on taxi in. Nothing.
It puzzled me at first; but then I passed through the doors of Canada Customs into the terminal and saw my countrymen, diverse, expectant, reserved, waiting for their loved ones. My eyes welled with tears and I say, “Hello Canada! I’ve missed you!” and people would look at me funny; some smiled. I said that for eight years, and I say it still, when I return. And when I leave Canada I say the words of a young passenger as the plane turned onto the runway. “Goodbye Canada, we love you.”
I’m back in Seattle now. It’s been about a year. And the funny thing about my return? My friends, none of them, welcomed me back. They welcomed me home. And after an eight year absence, one filled with great experiences in a fascinating country, I’m back to the city I have held close since I first laid eyes on her in 1972. This is the city of my dreams. “Seattle has always been good to you Steve.” said my ex. And it is the city that will always welcome me home.