Friday, June 3, 2016

Memories of Home

Memories of Home
Carol Nichols

Tony finally calls about my hair appointment.  Perm at one --- can hardly wait, the humidity and rain keep my hair constantly in my eyes.  It was a wet May with record rainfall and little sunshine.

It has been over a week since I've returned and I finally washed a few curtains and cleaned a little yesterday finding it hard to get back into day-to-day things.

As I glanced out the door, the grass is heavy from last night's rain.  Cricket whines impatiently in anticipation of the opening door and the woods that lie ahead.  I halfheartedly give in as I gaze at the now overgrown vegetation vividly remembering, in prior months, it's barren image.  My two months absence, vacationing at home in the southern state we had moved from two years ago, had given the tall monarchs time to fully clothed themselves in green splendor.

As I step from the house to the full sun, I feel it's soothing warmth on my shoulders while taking a deep breath of mountain air, I predispose myself to acclimate to life in Pennsylvania.  This was our second move, choosing to wait until our children had graduated from high school before accepting any career promotions.  Our son had made the first move with us to southern Illinois which helped to buffer the initial shock.

I quickly found that accepting change was not one of my strong suits.  We had always lived close to family with both of us being born and raised in the same small town.  We had even lived next-door to my parents for almost 15 years.  I know I'm a momma's baby.   I've heard it before!

As they say, home is where the heart is, and there are two hearts now in the Keystone State. Nevertheless, what could home have to offer over this beautiful state??  Hot stifling days with stormy tornadic nights, winds that never cease blowing grit and dirt over every part of your body, miles and miles of open prairie with few if any trees---a daughter and a son, family, friends, two precious granddaughters and memories, memories, memories.  I suddenly awaken to the realization that whatever your current surroundings hold,  opulent beauty or endless rolling plains, like the sea turtle returning, year after year to her place of birth, home will always have an innate compelling call that can never be quenched.

As I inner abruptly, almost magically, into the depth of the forest with lush northern fern covering the ground before me, I glance in the direction of Cricket, now in heavy pursuit of a chipmunk and become once again amazed at how fast those short little legs can carry that skinny long body.  I continue forward remembering last winter, anticipating the awakening of the forest, enabling it to reveal the identity of its diverse vegetation.

Making my way through the low hanging branches, I am gently showered with droplets of cool water that have been held unyielding until now awaiting release.  I go deeper, the fern disappears, void of sunlight except for an occasional sprig being nurtured by the rich mulch of a decaying log and suddenly, if not mystically, it is replaced by clusters of erupting mushrooms standing in colonies like little monuments to prior organisms.

A daddy long legs appears, easily scaling the obstacles before him, looking as a small orange dot until entering a patch of leaves that reveals the brown extensions that so arduously carries him forward to his unknown destination.

A vine-entwined branch reaches toward the ground, in a nefarious looking manner, as if waiting to be released by an interloper to abruptly catapult upward and reclaim its previous lofty heights.

Cricket, entering a patch of sunlight, red coat glistening, ears perked, sees some foreboding quest and at a glance, beckons me to hasten or be left by myself.  Unexpectedly, from my side, I catch a glimpse of red.  Bending down, I retrieve a child's lost possession, which, unfortunately, awakens me to the reality that I am not the only Pilgrim to make this trek.

As I exit into the mid-morning light, I stop to pick a bouquet of wild daisies and Queen Anne's lace and head from the solitude of the forest to the porch to reflect once again on memories of home!!!

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