Going home should not really be going home. It’s not the same house I grew up in, my grandparents have passed on and I only know a couple of people in town now. And yet the feeling still persists, a ‘coming home’ if you will. Maybe home is simply where your mother is. Or maybe the smells and sounds are ingrained in our souls, deposited alongside our values and personalities formed during those formative years.
Or maybe it is not so much a feeling of home at all, but simply a sense of nostalgia. A certain comfort in the sentimentality of what was long ago.
Regardless the verbiage, as I sit around the firepit of my mom’s yard watching hummingbirds battle and swallows soar, with horses neighing and wafts of sweet lilac drifting, the feeling is contentedness.
When it is time to go to my 20-year reunion, there is some dread. Not of the people but of the fear that we will act as we did back in the day. Where we seemingly couldn’t help judging, comparing and critiquing as we battled hormones, algebra and self-analysis. Upon arriving however, there are only hugs and laughs. We reminisce and share our lives with the people who were with us in those terribly awkward times.
We are not nostalgic, as I don’t think a one of us longs to go back, but by sharing a common time and place in the throws of becoming adults, there is an underlying understanding of how far we’ve come.
Memories come flooding back when you revisit your hometown evoking laughter and cringing and disbelief and appreciation. More subtlety though, it is the visceral memories that surprise. Where your senses- sight, sounds, smells, touch- instinctively know what they know, twenty year absence or no.
For here are their roots, allowing the branches above to soar, in whatever direction we have each chosen to go.