I felt relieved that the gray haze of the morning prevented me from seeing anything beyond our little corner of tarmac. I didn't need any gratuitous glimpses of green countryside. I was already well aware of what I was leaving behind. But it was time to go, and I was ready. My two-year old had cried into the phone the night before, "Come home mama. I need you." It was exactly what I needed to hear. There are so many people that we miss, and places that we long for, but what it comes down to is where we are needed. There is no bigger draw, nothing as compelling as the knowledge that you could be a lot of different places, you could be with a lot of different people, but there is only one place where you're needed most.
My girls brought me homemade cards and a Fruit Loop necklace to the airport. When they spotted me coming up the escalator they charged straight into the crowd trying to reach me. I dropped my suitcases and knelt down to gather them up as swarms of travelers moved around us. It was then, right there in the middle of Denver International Airport, that I remembered that one of the best things about traveling is the coming home part.