When we got on the ferry the cool ocean air wrapped us in comfort and pulled us home. It was an amazing trip -- so amazing that we're all quite overwhelmed, when we try to tell people about it. We visited volcanoes, deserts, ocean, rainforests, cold and warm climates, friends, family, historic and natural sites of huge interest and value; we saw different cultures and places and ways of existing. We existed with and for each other, and became different, in ourselves. We traveled so far in our good and trusty vehicle that the days were noticeably shorter and the world seemed like a different place. But that same trusty vehicle brought us home again, and when we got here, we fell right back into the manic existence we'd left behind.
But we're changed. We have a memory that time cannot remove. We have experiences shared just with the four of us, and for us that's very unique. This trip is like a large crystal, scratched and hauled from the dirt, peered into and appreciated for all its cracks, surprises, and inclusions. It looks different every time we try to remember. But the constant is togetherness, and joy in that togetherness. And joy in coming home, together.
When we got home, the kids hurried, without a word, to gather and create gifts for Fathers' Day. Within an hour, we'd begun to reclaim our house from emptiness (and from the smell of the long-dead rat in the office), and the kids had prepared this for Markus: