Saturday, September 15, 2007

I am home

It happened again. Another well-meaning high school chum I haven't seen in awhile tried to give me the get out of Cranbrook pep-talk. And once again I tried to explain why I am still here. Why this is "home".

I am not sure when the transition happened. For so many years of my anxious teenage life I couldn't wait to leave. Eager to stretch my wings and "make something of myself." Somewhere along the line my roots dug deeper than I had intended. Places, people, and moments in time stacking up on one another until they became my recipe for home. This dish is ever expanding and just this summer has begun to add farther away places to the list of ingredients. Yet still most of these ingredients are safely tucked around this little valley, keeping me warm and holding me up when the chill sets in.

Home is a little bridge behind the trailer court where I used to catch slimy things with my baby brother. It's the "family" tree in Rotary park I can't climb anymore. It's in the playground of the school down the street and under the lamppost where we kissed our first kiss. It's in the waters of lakes and ponds where I have swam, canoed and drifted in good company and sometimes just my own. It's on the mountain I was too young to climb with Dad but managed to climb on my own and share his view. It's in the coffee shop where so many good friendships have been nourished. It's in a water wheel I wasn't suppose to climb but climbed anyway. It's on a back porch swing I can't swing on anymore. It's in the frame above my parents kitchen sink where my sisters and I discovered something to share. It's in a garden I share with strangers and with friends. It's on stages; many stages where I found so many pieces of myself. It's in several churches where I have found my place in the universe and the magic in everyday. It's on the swing in my Mother's yard where there hasn't been nearly enough wine yet. It's in the faces of my children when they are with any of the many Grandparents they have here. Its in stockings so full of fun that its hard to get through the hallway to wake up the rest of the gang.

And now I have found more of my ingredients in these sunshiny walls and massive windows that let the world in. I have found it at both of my Grandmothers feet where they weave stories from memories. It's in a football game with the many faces of the Sharps. It's in my grandparents kitchen where Grandpa holds my face in his hands. And it's even in the echo of voices in a Catholic church.

Home is trickling through creeks and and in the quiet woods, where the branches whisper secrets of my youth and my one love.

Home definitely rests and is woven through circles of song and pots of wild rice. Guitars and voices so familiar they are like a warm blanket for the soul. Gatherings of a community held together by some force indescribable.

I have not made something fantastic and adventuresome of myself. My stage is not grand and the tickets to my show aren't sold out. But ever so slowly my life has become something beautiful and satisfying. I wouldn't have chosen this a decade ago but you couldn't make me go back and change it for anything. I am home.

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