Sunday, January 17, 2016

Home

Most of us will go through life having more than a few places we'll call home. Different stages in our lives-different circumstances warrant changes in our address. Some of those changes go unnoticed. A very few remain with us no matter where we go. It's not because of brand name counter tops or built-in fireplaces or in-ground pools with surrounding paper brick. While that stuff might make us comfortable, none of it matters for the simple reason home is not defined by a price tag or a brand or color or design. Rather, home is defined in our hearts. Home tugs at us. Like a bird in its nest, we know when we're there. Home wraps us up in comfort like an old, tattered quilt. Home keeps the world away. Home allows us to be still.

I have a few places I call home. The one that comes to mind more often than not was my first home. The home where I grew up before we moved to the country when I was in the third grade. I remember every nook and cranny of that clapboard house situated on a lane. My mind can wander through its rooms like a video recorder. I can still feel the 2nd step down into my bedroom move. I can hear it creak. I can smell the aromas from the kitchen coming up through a register in my bedroom. I can hear the wind swirling  though the trees in the back yard. A few years ago, I drove by that house. It used to be yellow but is now an emerald green. That didn't matter. I still saw it as yellow. The owners happened to be out front. I knew the minute I saw them I was going to stop. I pulled right up to the same curb I'd jumped over and walked on when I was a little girl. I introduced myself and explained why I was stopping. Without my asking, they invited me inside the house that tugs at my heart. As they took me from room to room changes made to that home didn't matter either. In fact, I felt the 2nd step down into what had been my bedroom move although there were new steps. Three in fact. And they didn't move. I could smell the aromas from the kitchen still coming up through a register although the register was no longer there. I could hear the wind swirling through the trees in the backyard even though the trees were gone. 

I define that home by memories I hold dear in my heart. While I don't dwell on that place and time, when I do think of it, I get in touch with that little girl inside me.

That clapboard home on the lane grounds me. Brings me back-then pushes me forward and on I go to that place I now call home-out in the country with smells and textures all its own with a barn out back and fields to explore.

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