A funny thing happened to me last March.  I was riding in the car heading from Virginia’s coast to the western part of the state.  The moment I saw the Blue Ridge Mountains on the horizon, the word “home” reverberated in my head.

That single word was soon followed by a song from Toni Price’s Midnight Pumpkin CD.  A piece of the lyrics of Call of My Heart, written by Shelley King, summed up how I felt at that moment:

“The call of my heart is calling me home
Taking my hand and leading me back
Where I belong.
Been too long that I’ve been gone.
Gotta make a new start cause
The call of my heart is calling me home.”
Then, when I arrived at my destination and held my new grandson, Simon Fanning, in my arms, I knew I wanted to act on that call.  Out here in Texas, I had missed many moments in the lives of my first two grandchildren, Cameron Harper and Ben Warren, I did not want to lose those memories again.  I thought, too, of my 87-year-old mother-in-law, Marilyn, whom I love dearly and desperately wanted to see more often while I could.
I returned to Virginia in April, in my opinion the most glorious month of the year in Virginia, when everything comes alive in brilliant shades of green and in the flamboyant colors of daffodils, tulips and hyacinths.  It reminded me of the second favorite time of year in that state–autumn, when there is a crispness in the air and the woods are alive with flaming color.  I realized then how much I missed the changing of the seasons.  Yes, the winters can be pesky things but the payback is a spring and fall that fills me with awe.
I know there will be some Texans who won’t understand how I could leave their great republic but I think if they stop to think about what stirs up that primitive longing for “home” in their hearts, they will understand my need to respond to this call to my heart.
View from my new porch
The twenty-one years I have spent in Texas have been a welcome part of my life that I will never regret and the friends I’ve made will never leave my heart.  But for everything there is a season and my time here is done.  By the end of this month, I will be moving into my new home in Bedford, Virginia.  From my back screened-in porch I have a clear view of the Peaks of Otter.  Across the street in the front, the popular local fishing hole, City Lake.
I bounce daily between excitement, fear and a bittersweet longing that pulls me in two directions.  But throughout it all, the call of my heart keeps pulling me eastward to begin a new chapter in life in a place called home.
“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” — Margaret Shepard