The  earliest memories of home are ones that brand. They’re invisible at the time, as you never realize what they’ll mean tomorrow, 5 years from now, or 85 years from now. I think maybe even because of it, they’re the ones that are completely impossible to forget.

I’ve gone through this period of: “What is home? Where do I find it? Can it be more than where I am right now?” At the end of this, maybe I’ve realized that home has a lot of definitions. That home has a malleable side and an objective one. For me in an abstract sense, it’s wherever and whatever makes you feel that all is right in the world, that life could go on forever a certain way, and that you’d be fine with that. But at the same time, it’s literally the place where your earliest memories come from.

To this, Kings of Leon seem to think that this is “in the water, where you came from.” Listening to years of my father vehemently declare that his old Hanover county was “God’s country” makes me think that there may be some truth to that. Nothing makes him act the same way. Whatever its source though, it’s not a homesickness as much as it’s a magnetism. Like salmon swimming back upstream, I wonder if sometimes we even have the option-Or if just somewhere out of the depths of memory comes a need to be back to the same place from which those memories came. We separate it from time, and space and have this pull, this need, to breathe to life what is a rosy figment of the past into a reality again.

If it hasn’t hit yet, just sit on it. Stay in any given place long enough, you’ll get wanderlust. Follow it, stay there long enough and you’ll realize the need to be back to where it was that you first started. Where you hewed from the tree of life the good from the bad and priceless and the invaluable; learned what it meant to be part of a friendship, or a place, or a community, and what it meant to know of its history and simultaneously contribute to that.

Robert Duvall said that Virginia is the last station before heaven. I believe that, and he believes that, but for anyone else its wherever they carved out that start. At six, at eight, at fifteen, where they first learned what way the sun was supposed to come streaming into their room to wake them up. Where they looked through that window and begin to construct the world from that point outward. It’s an epicenter that never changes. The place that gave you maybe more of yourself than you realize, I believe, has no choice but to forever draw you back.

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~ by crossmd on February 20, 2011.

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