May 10, 2005


For years home was identified as that place where I grew up. That place in rural Louisiana where I spent the lazy days of summer riding horses, fishing in the pond, and swimming in the river. For a long time after I left home, went to school, married and moved away, driving to my parents' house was still "going home."

At what point my ancestral home ceased being "home" to me is unclear.

I am now passed the age where I have spent more years away from my parents' place than I actually lived there. I have surpassed that time by five years. Since leaving home, I have lived in apartments, rented a house, bought a house, and then bought another. I have lived in different cities and different states. As I have matured, I have endeavored to make each house a home, not just for me, but first for my small family and then for my children.

With the years, my parents have aged, family members and friends in my hometown have died, and over the past two years, I have made frequent trips back to my parents' house due to my father's failing health. With each visit, I have felt more of a distance and disconnect with this place I once knew as home. When I am there, I recognize the landmarks, am cognizant of the memories evoked, and acknowledge a not insignificant portion of who I am was formed by the place and the events which transpired there; however, those warm feelings of familiarity, belonging, and "place" are no longer stirred. I cannot even say that these emotions have been replaced by any other. It is just a place, not unlike any other I have seen or experienced in my travels. This is just a place I happen to know better than most others.

When I think of where my home is now, that place that draws me back when I wander, both in my mind, as well as my person, with the promise of warmth, security, and wellness, I am deluged with images of my children, my friends, and the small town in which I now live. The images include time spent with good friends, in their houses and mine, enjoying good food and good conversation as we watch our children being children. The images also include standing in line at the one post office in my small town making conversation with those strangers around me, then weeks later seeing one of the strangers again at the grocery store and finding this stranger has suddenly become friend. I am now home, again.

Posted by Christina at May 10, 2005 06:36 PM

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