nos·tal·gia 1. a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
being in mtn. home makes me feel nostalgic in ways I can’t really understand…so I thought if I typed them out maybe it would make more sense: seeing certain places reminds me of things; things forgotten because maybe they were not so important. going to the park of my childhood for a picnic…to the softball field of my adolescent years. I hear kim nicholson begin the chant, “down by the river.” I see debra harris rushing at me from the pitchers’ mound to get the runner out at home. I feel the exhaustion and exhilaration of playing street basketball on the mini court there. I see the grocery store across the street that I held down my first job at for over a year. I wonder if it still looks the way I remember it inside. I always say maybe one day I’ll go in there and see. but I never do. we wade into the lake. I sit on the front porch. I walk down the dirt road. I listen to the night chirpers. I allow myself to try and picture what my life would look like if I’d have stayed here to live as I drive through town. I really can’t though. It’s been almost thirteen years since I left, pregnant, freshly married, and ignorant of the things that I would quickly learn. I drive around and visit old friends. I wonder if we’d still visit each other if I lived here. I’d like to think so. they have changed, becoming more mature and beautiful. their offspring have grown and reveal so much of what I remember of them in their own childhoods. memories of my youth, reflected among our interactions. and yet, they are their own individuals too. and I am happy and yet saddened. I drive around, some things are new and other things have changed. I meet a new friend at a new coffee shop with our babies, and it goes really well.
small town, growing, staying the same, growing, slowing…I remember what I remember, but see it in a new way too. we go down to the white river and swim in the hole: cold, refreshing, clean, pure spring; nowhere just like it. I look out at the mountains and valleys, the blanket of fog and heat resting upon it all, where sky meets land and hay bales lay in the sun-soaked field beyond the wildflowers and fences down these dirt roads. the air is clean, and yet hot, as I roar my brother’s jimmy around town, grimacing at the other drivers’ lack of my presence or their own unseemliness. slow country. where the tops of trees on the mountains roll like ocean waves along the height of the earth. and I wonder at it all…seeing it all again, new again.