For the longest time when people asked me where I am from I would always say "I live in Nashville, but I'm from Ohio." Within the last year, that answer has morphed to be "I'm from Nashville." I don't know what shifted. I don't know if it was the 5 years of CMA music fests endured (3 years as an employee at the Country Music Hall of Fame), if it was the cicada swarm, the flood, or the sweltering heat that pushed me through my right of passage to be "from nashville" or if it was the gradual knowing of an area. Feeling comfortable driving around without directions and having insight on the best coffee place, our favorite lunch spot or the closest, most reliable salon.
Maybe it had more to do with turning this little condo into a home that is lived in with touches of our own story in each room. Oh my mom, made that. My brother in law banged our ceiling here with a weight. Our friend spilled coffee there ages ago and we could never get the stain out. We bought that at Ikea on our 2nd anniversary. Remember that night when worshiped for hours in the living room? This table has been full of women for wine night and full of men for late night beers and chess. This is where I stood when I spoke the words "I'm pregnant" and this is where I knelt for the first 2 hours of labor in the quite coolness of a January night with worship music washing over me. Over here is where we set up our son's bathtub. It's his favorite part of the day. And in this corner is where he slept for the first 5 months in this world. and so on...and so on.
Yesterday we returned from a 9 day visit with my parents at their new house in Baltimore, MD. It was a great time hanging and spending more than the rushed weekend together. We relaxed and enjoyed cozy evenings watching the Food Network, sharing meals, and laughing. We visited Ikea, the National Zoo, the Baltimore Aquarium, and even saw an Oriole's game. Their new house is beautiful. Throughout the week as I could I would help my mom unpack boxes and settle well loved and recognizable things on to brand new shelves with freshly painted walls and pristine carpets. Felix had ample space to wiggle around on the floor I took advantage of an awesome soaking tub as my mom soaked up time with Mr. Felix. We had a great time, saw some wonderful things, ate some delicious food, and I miss my parents already.
But, there was something about recognizing percy priest lake from the airplane and seeing the Nashville skyline in the distance that put my heart at ease. This is my place. Nashville. Home. Where my husband and I first lived. Where we had our son. Where we run into people we know when we are out to breakfast. Where Felix will have his first memories and where I see many many years of love and growth to come in this town, in our home and in my heart.