More than six months have past since I made my return to the United States, and it's nearly the Fourth of July. Summer's half over, and soon another fall and winter season will be upon us. And it's past due time that I publicly declare that the next phase of my life will most likely unfold right here in my hometown.
Notice I still have to throw the qualifier "likely" in there?
Just have to keep that door cracked.
But now that I've wedged it open - just in case, mind you, just keeping my options open - I feel free to say, I'm back home. So, rather than pretending to be waiting for the next big thing to happen, the next big country to add to my list, I'm going to sit right down and say, "Here I am, what can you teach me, Wisconsin?"
To those ends, I've taken on two independent consulting jobs. Already both of them have shown me that the things I learned living in places with strange food and even stranger languages is needed right here. It's disconcerting to realize that I've become a prodigal - I went out into the world searching for that worldly labor that would define my life. Now I've returned home to discover that work is waiting here. Yet, without having left, I would have never had the experience necessary to be able to do the work back home.
That doesn't mean the story ends. The story doesn't say the prodigal doesn't leave again, and it doesn't say that there isn't more to be learned. But for the time being I am going to take the time to understand where I come from in the light of where I have been.