I went home today, almost to the very patch of ground where my parents raised me. What is it about the years that stretch out memories so that they have holes we must fill to make sense of things?
I fill in mine with good things that make me long for home, even from 10 miles up the interstate.
When I am lost or lonely, I drive the back road past my old high school, my church, my grandmother’s house. Or I browse the internet for listings somewhere off the main road where there is land. I dream of raising a dog there until I am loved and love enough to raise a child.
I’d take her berry picking, or firefly catching on the same Appalachian hill where I grew up. We’d look for the same constellations my father once pointed out to me.
But Nostalgia is as big a liar as Someday.
That boy who first kissed you, he took a wife. I heard they live in a house on the same property where his parents are. They look so happy in the Facebook photos.
At that church down the gravel driveway from your house you learned to say the Our Father and to love God, but you didn’t learn to love your neighbor well.
They say you can’t go home again, but that’s not true. You can. But you might not recognize home any more. And it sure doesn’t remember you.