Nature is a funny gal. She never disappoints when I am looking for comfort and answers. Here in Georgia, I often stand beneath the tall pines to feel a calm come over me. With their statuesque presence, they hide me from the world so that I can take a moment to meditate and, simply, just breathe.
Back home in Texas, on the eve of Halloween, I was driving through one of my favorite neighborhoods and passed a beautiful home I have always admired. Its gorgeous blue minty color, I swear I can taste. It has always reminded me of a cool blue taste in a stick of gum. With its warm wooden embellishments and rich seasonal decor of illuminating jack-o-lanterns on every porch step, the home suddenly made me crave hot caramel sauce and pumpkin spice apple crumble. And so, I began to profile the lady of the home.
Is she a sixty-eight year old lovely woman who stayed at home to raise her children and now has all the time on her hands to drop an insane amount of Benjamins at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s while her physician husband is saving lives and sleeping with his nurses? Does she buy all of those things to mask her pain from an unhappy marriage? Do I create this horrible scenario in my mind about her only because she gets to have this beautiful home and I do not? The answers are no…I am certain her life is damn near perfect. How awful of me to think otherwise. Leaving my judgement on the street corner, I drive on past the house to a busy outlet and think to myself, “Will I ever have MY forever home?”
What IS a forever home, anyway?
During my first marriage, I used to dream of what my ‘forever home’ would look like…that place the kids would come home to during Christmas break from college to reconnect with childhood memories…..the home where I could babysit my grandchildren. I looked and looked for it for two decades, all the while moving from beautiful home to beautiful home every three years, not realizing that those homes were as good as it would get. After my divorce and fifth year in my rental home, I came to a sad realization I may never have it. Sad…….OR is it?
Later that day, I found myself unintentionally driving past another home. This particular home was the place I spent my early years as a sticky-faced baby in cloth diapers and then, a rather shy and quiet young girl through my junior high years…and the house was fucking gone. I tried to muster up tears but, I just couldn’t. I even made that squint-y face we all have come to love and know when we are on the porcelain throne ….still, I had nothing. I sat in my car in total shock thinking, “How dare they tear down my childhood home! I didn’t get to say goodbye!” I looked for something….anything to take as a souvenir. All I could find were the memories in my head. Memories of learning to ride my bike in the backyard, watching my father twist the heads off of chickens so we would have an evening meal, burying our pet cat after it had gotten hit by a car and then digging it up a year later so we could see its decomposition, and hiding behind the big tree by the alley, giggling at smut magazines my brothers and I would find….it suddenly hit me. A home doesn’t necessarily keep memories alive. Memories (wonderful and gruesome) stay alive in our minds. THAT is the place where our forever home truly resides.
……and, nothing lasts forever. Time and change make sure of that. Seasons come and go along with a stronger inner growth within ourselves.
…..so that we can get through this thing called life, forever moving toward anything that strikes us as beautiful or makes us want to continue to grow.