Notes from NOLA and the way home

I returned late last night from a service trip to New Orleans. The trip was life-giving and refreshing and I hope to write in detail about it in installments. But lets begin from the end: the thrill of touching down in Boston.

Every time I get back to Boston I am excited, even if I am coming back from something special. After a wonderful weekend away with some BC students, doing service, making music and enjoying the weather, I still got a little rush seeing the snow on the ground and the familiar sights of Boston from the airplane window.

Spending time away gave me a lot of time to reflect on what I do and on the paths I have chosen over the last few years. Time away from my routine is always a blessing because it allows me to evaluate my days and to see other people whose lives I admire (and whose lives are very different from mine). The things that seem inevitable from day to day start to feel more like choices, and the messy wonderful life that waits for me back home seems like the blessed paradoxical mix of a plan and serendipity.

When we touched down yesterday I was heartbroken to leave my new friends in New Orleans, to leave the sun and the quick community that builds on a trip like that. But I was eager to get back to my community at home and to the people I have committed to serving day in and day out. This is where I have hung my hat, despite snow and blunt Bostonians and interminable winters. My people are in New England, not New Orleans, as are my work and my heart.

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