The Handy Man's parents still live in the house they bought when he was in kindergarten. Each room holds memories for him. The basement where he helped paint his mother's freezer. The backyard is where he played and ran from the torments of his older brothers. He can name the families that live in the houses up and down the street. If we went to church with my in-laws, there would be many worshipers who could tell me stories about my husband and his childhood antics. They'd smile and resist the urge to pinch his cheeks.
|The house where we lived during my junior and senior years.|
I didn't visit Idaho for two decades. It's much closer than Arizona, but there wasn't much to draw me there. Our families had all moved on. Then, one summer, I visited with my older sister and my parents. As we walked down the narrow Main street in my mother's small home town, emotions and memories flooded my heart and mind until I feared they would spill out through tears. I lingered at the high school, peering down the hallway where, braced against the tall, gray lockers, I'd learned the sweetness of a first kiss. There in the classrooms where I passed notes with my first love, thrilling at the words he penned just for me. We saw the football field where I discovered that I could dance, where I got my first shot of confidence as I cheered our team in my short, orange skirt.
|The Snake River- Rupert, Idaho|
In Idaho I discovered my roots. Not just because I was born there, but because of the memories that hold me fast to the land. The river which brought me peace as a troubled teen still stirred feelings of content. The water moved quickly, but was smooth and calm. I could smell the sage growing on its banks and hear the catfish as they jumped in the water. The mountains on the skyline turned purple in the evening light. All of my senses soaked in the feelings that literally vibrated the air around me. This is my home. I do not live here. I never will again. But, the land has an imprint of my soul. It may lay dormant while I am away, but awakens every time I'm near. It calls to me, beckons me. We are attached to one another. My roots here grow deep. Which is how it should be. At home.
(This post was written for the AtoZ Challenge and also for the GBE 2: Blog On prompt- Home.)