My response to a writing prompt (linked).
She looked down on the village that had been her home until she was eighteen years old. It hadn't really changed much over the years - it was still a small collection of two and three-room cottages nestled in a little valley with a small, flat school to the east and a church dominating the center. Steam rose off the rooftops to mingle with smoke drifting lazily from chimneys. She could almost make out a few people in their yards, turning over the soil in preparation for winter.
When she'd written her parents that she wanted to come back home for a visit, the response had been terse: "That would be fine." Sixteen years of absence had done little to mellow her mother's feelings. Her father...
The last thing she'd heard from her father had been shouted after her as she dove into Franz' rusted VW Beetle with nothing more than a stuffed backpack and two layers of clothing. "No good will come of this!" he had warned. "You'll be back full of remorse and a swollen belly!" Her mother had stood behind him, voicing her agreement through loud, gulping sobs.
She'd tried to explain her dreams to them - to all of them - but it had been a disaster. Only Franz had understood. Hadn't he had the same dreams of doing more in the world? Of cities and countries and far-off places where there was more to life than trees and the mill and whomever God was going to smite next?
Anna had been so sure she’d never return, but..
"For God's sake, Mom, you've been out here for ten minutes! Can we just go? I'm freezing!"
Anna looked back at her daughter, 14 years old and ready to fly with fledgling dreams of her own. It seemed to Anna that she had spent a lifetime helping her grow, but now all her efforts were to pull her back from the flimsy boundaries that separated her from the dangerous outside world.
That's why she was coming back home today - to let her parents know that she understood.