It is the mountain that I climbed.
Somedays it was a struggle, but most were splendid adventures.
It is the summit where I rested and enjoyed the view.

It is where I built my nest, collecting bits and pieces of life,
from here and there,
the flotsam and jetsam treasures of everyday,
eventually woven into a nest-home.

It has always been temporary in intention,
but it has been exquisitely real and permanent in each moment.
It moved into my center, joining my other homes,
taking a forever-place in my heart.

And the mountaintop view,
and the carefully collected and woven bits and pieces,
the whirligig days and the long dark nights,
will soon wrap themselves up as a memory-gift.

I feel that memory-gift, a grand and beautiful package,
nestled into my heart,
painfully growing its roots deep into my heart muscle
never to leave their now permanent home.

It is a welcomed pain. It feels like heartbreak.

And I will carry that audacious memory, not as a weight,
rather as a pair of wings that let my heart forever soar,
back to the affectionate glow of that place,
back to the occasional hilarity of learning to live there,
back to the feeling of belonging that I earned.

Back to the love that I found for a foreign land,
We now possess each other.

Grafted on. No longer foreign.

A persistent and abiding slice of who I am.

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