On the eve of Virginia’s succession, Robert E. Lee was offered command of the Union army, but declined, commenting only that he would not raise is hand against his birthplace – his country as he understood the word. I never really understood this sentiment until circumstances drew me away from my own birthplace. It was in being away that the concept of what home means crystalized for me. It was the thought of coming back that let me tolerate what had become the worst experience of my professional life. It’s the simple act of being back on home soil that’s letting me find peace of mind amidst a steep climb along the learning curve and and living situation that, at best, can currently be described as “less than ideal.” For all the pain in the ass that getting back to Maryland has caused, I’d never dream of having it any other way. Maybe it’s not true for everyone, but I’ve discovered that for me geography is important. It’s as much a part of my self identity as my fingerprint. After a long time gone, I’m here – in my county… and the rest is simply administrative minutia.