Friday, August 22, 2008
Thinking of Home
Although I was born in Germany and have lived in places like the Azores and Indonesia and the Pacific Northwest, I am honestly a southern girl in my heart of hearts. And, tonight I'm thinking about home.
I have a theory about home. I think that when we are children, home is where our parents are. In our twenties, home is where our lover is. In our late twenties and early thirties, I think we begin to choose for ourselves exactly how to create a home. And, I believe that as we age, the place our heart calls home is most often where we lived as a teenager. That's where all the seeds were planted that grew into our adult selves. That is the truth for me, anyway.
As I near forty, I realize more and more that my heart's home is in the mountains of Tennessee and just across the state lines into northwest Georgia and Alabama. For me, home is where I was a teenager.
Home is the sound of crickets and bullfrogs. Home is hot summer days and cooler, breezy nights full of fireflies and cricket calls. Home is where everyone offers you a glass of tea and doesn't think to mention that it's sweet. Of course tea is sweet. Home is where people say, "ya'll" and "hey" and "yes, ma'am" without irony. Home is where every soda is a coke and grown men and women still call their fathers Daddy. Home is where you wave at strangers passing on the road. It is evenings sitting on porches or in the backyard telling tall tales. Home is a boat full of teenagers down at the dam with snacks, music, and a long, hot day ahead. Home is where people speak slowly and move slower still. Not because our minds aren't quick, but because we know how to savor.
And, now I'm wondering. What is home to you?
The two southern images seem plucked straight from my childhood. They were taken by Kenny. This song is exactly how I am feeling tonight.
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