When I’m in Malibu, I desperately miss Charleston.
I miss big things and little things and all sized things that fit somewhere in between.
I miss my mother’s touch and the carnations my father buys me each time he makes a trip to the grocery store that he clips and places in my favorite yellow vase, leaving them to wait for my return upon my bedside. I miss meeting my Granny for lunch, watching her walk across the parking lot to me in a shirt with blue stripes (her favorite). Believe it or not, I miss getting stuck waiting for the bridge to open over the harbor, letting sailboats with tall masts stir up our impatience and slow down our rushing. I miss the Mt. Pleasant waterfront park with the swing set directly under the bridge where I can swing, and watch the sun set over the water, and listen to the constant whirring of cars overhead all at once. I miss falling asleep on my home sofa after a long day in the sun, cheeks still pink and my dog curled up under my arm. I miss driving to Sonic at dark with my feet on Cat’s dash and Anna sitting in the back, the three of us ordering too many tater-tots and Coke floats than could ever be healthy.
I find myself sitting at school in Malibu, looking out to the ocean from my bedroom window, and wishing I could go home for just a weekend, not any longer. Just two or three days to get lunch with my mom and watch a movie, and then come back to Malibu and resume college life as planned.
But when I’m home in Charleston, like I am now, I find myself missing Malibu.
I want to get back to waking to the sunrise and glancing over my shoulder to notice the sea behind me whenever the day feels tough. I want to sit behind the chapel where the hummingbirds fly and the lizards sunbathe and let myself take down my hair, lay in the grass, read in the echoes of the chirping birds and buzzing waves. I bizarrely want to get back to class, and studying, and writing essays I complain way too much about. And I mostly want to get back to walking down from my room and being stopped ten different times to talk to friends, and sit and drink coffee, and have discussions with purpose. I want to get back to my church family, and the Well, and my job which feels nothing like work at all.
But. More than missing one place or wanting another, I mostly desire to be present. No matter where I am, here or there, East coast or West, Atlantic or Pacific. I want to be fully in love with Charleston while in Charleston and fully in love with Malibu while in Malibu. I want to take in every moment, every sight, every sound, every touch and taste, no matter which of my two lovely and exciting homes I get to be in at that time.
So for now. I know I have a pretty darn good home waiting for me across the country, and I’m excited for the fall because I know all the good things will still be there when I return.
But today, I’m in Charleston. I get to have those breakfast dates with my mom whenever I so please. I get to work and earn something for myself this summer. I get to learn in a new internship environment. I get to see my lifelong friends every evening, get sonic tater-tots whenever we want. And that’s something worth loving, too.