No Place Like Home

A weekend of travel and a Monday of productivity in the form of meetings prevented the publication of yesterday’s post.

(My money is on the fact that at least one of you muttered, “God, I love alliteration.”)

Over the weekend, I returned to Kansas for the wedding of my friend Keenan Oliver Martin.   Mr. Martin and I’s friendship grew as he and his twin brother, Kelsey, were my advisees during their undergraduate studies at Benedictine College. They would have visited my office for the first time over 14 years ago.

As advisees, they were a major pain. During an icebreaker activity on the first day of my class, Keenan kicked over the tower of our life-sized Jinga game. When scheduling classes, they always wanted the same professor for each class but strictly avoided being in the same section of the course. After many attempts to put that academic puzzle together, they finally admitted they wanted to share textbooks but not always be together.  I think I made them both take History of Dance in retribution. If you find them on social media, you might uncover a few years in a pre-TikTok world, in which they posted choreographed dance numbers with some frequency.  Are the class and videos related?

As our years unfolded, so did our friendship. Eventually, they graduated and took jobs in the side-by-side classroom of a local school. We began going on outings to Marvel movies and then exploring restaurants. They taught me that if you live in a town with few restaurant options but are visiting a restaurant elsewhere, it is a good idea to order a second entrée to go.  In later years, Keenan and Kelsey became a great support system in a challenging period of my life.

On Saturday, October 15, 2022, Keenan married Serena. Their wedding was a great coming together of communities. It was an honor to be invited and a pleasure to celebrate the new couple and their valuable friendship. It was a gift to celebrate alongside longtime friends, colleagues, and fellow members of the Benedictine community.

I wondered if I would experience pangs of longing for my former communities during this trip.  Would there be some tug in my heart to return to this former place? I drove over a bridge and looked down at a sandbar on the Kansas River where an old friend and I camped during an epic two-day paddling trip. I went through two of my favorite college campuses.  I shared meals with important friends.

If there were any clicking of heels together with ‘home’ in my heart, they were heard boarding the plane back to Maryland and wishing to return to my friends at Target. I am happy for my years back there, and I cannot wait to see ‘my people’ soon, but I look forward to the day when I attend the wedding of a student I haven’t met yet and the gift of witnessing the joining of communities in my new home.