What is it about coming home? For most of us--okay, for me, anyway--there's nothing like driving into my childhood hometown, which is what I did yesterday. Even though my car is relatively new, I get the feeling it automatically knows where to go ... how to take the turns ... how to stay between the lines on the straight and narrow roads ... how to watch for logging trucks (this time of year) and farmers driving large tractors (any time of the year).
What is it about walking into your childhood home? The feelings that wash over you as you step through the door--the "back" door because no one goes to the front door. The house has held on to its scents and the scents hold all my young memories.
I grew up in this house, this house my parents built when I was only a year old. This house where, a year or so later, they walked in with my baby brother, who now--smack in the throes of middle age--owns the old place.
When I'm here I can still hear the voices of my parents, the childish laughter of my brother and me, the sounds of a middle-class life lived out in Small Town, America. In the midst of a world in crisis (the 60s) and a world of change (the 70s), we were a family, complete with a Heinz 57 dog named Tippie.
Great memories reside here while those we'd rather forget have packed their bags and left. And, each time I sit here alone in the mornings, sipping my coffee while curled in an overstuffed chair with a book I'm currently reading, I wonder why I packed my bags with them. I wonder why the wanderlust bug always buzzed inside of me. My whole life, even now living so far away and traveling as much as I do, there is the craving to know what's out there, the desire to walk on parts of the earth where my feet have yet to explore ...
... and the need, always, to come home.