Life is full of surprises.
Twenty-five years ago (in the last gasp of the Cold War) if you'd told me that in first months of the new Millennium, I would make footprints in the fresh February snow in one of Stalin's secret cities and enter the courthouse to adopt a Russian toddler (the thick iron door ominously slamming shut, as we entered) I would have have laughed at you. Likewise, if you told me I would someday lift off on a China Southern 737, bound for Guangzhou, from the city where Chairman Mao studied philosophy, with a scared 13-Month old Chinese daughter, looking forward to the comforts of the White Swan Hotel.
Twenty years ago (as I was close to graduating from high school, in a town I did not like, where I'd only lived for less than a year, where I couldn't wait to leave) if you had told me that I'd be back there in twenty years with three kids and I wife of almost 15 years, I would have said no way in hell would I ever move back. Why, oh why would I do that?
Ten years ago (fresh after the Smurf attacks of 98, after just embarking on my network security career as a junior *NIX instructor for a government contractor in San Antonio) if you had told me that ten years later I'd be doing network security training again four employer's (and almost same multiple of my salary) later, I would not have known what to say.
Five years ago, if you had had told me that I would someday be able to rattle of the names and dosages of commonly prescribed neuroleptics, and would have the seen first hand the effects (both good and bad) of stimulants, anti-depressants, and mood stabilizers on a child of mine, I would have said you were the one that was crazy.
A year ago, if you had told me that I would be blogging with my 3 month old asleep on my chest, his mouth open (having inherited my allergic genes, the humidifier droning on) I would ask what miracle brought this about?
* * *
Life is uncertain. The future is full of surprises. For all the apparent familiarities of time and space, with each turn around the labyrinth, it is not the same. You were not here before.
Life is a free fall. Immediate control is an illusion. At best, you alter the angle (if not the rate) of descent--or maybe your perspective on the horizon.
Simple choices have unforeseen consequences. Big decisions are unreal and awesome, impossible to comprehend.
* * *
In the coming months, we prepare to move East, to the land of the Chesapeake and the Catoctins -- a move which somehow feels unnatural, like turning back the clock, like flowing against against History.
East? It was always the West where you thought you would end up.
After all, who returns home without good reason?