I want to go home.
It’s funny to type that as I sit in my chair at my desk in my office in my house, because of course, I AM home. But this home – this house where my children have grown up and this neighborhood where I walk my dog every day and this city in which I’ve lived for three decades – is not the home I’m talking about.
That home is back in time somewhere – the house I couldn’t get out of fast enough, in the neighborhood I couldn’t wait to leave, in the city from which I couldn’t flee far enough. It’s where my siblings and I – best friends one minute, sworn enemies the next, with allegiances that changed with the wind direction – formed a cohesive unit that at once bonded us against the outside world and made us chomp at the bit to get out into it. It’s where I spent the first third of my life, 18 years of memories that are fading with each passing day no matter how hard I try to hold on to them.
That “home” represents a time, challenging as it could be, that still allowed for the naïve, passionate, unquestioning hope that is unfortunately not as easily grasped anymore … or maybe just not as readily acknowledged. The time that truly is wasted on the young.
Between watching my teenagers at the start of their lives, and so many friends and family members at the end of theirs, I’ve never wanted to return to the days of my youth as desperately as I do at this moment. I don’t want a “do-over,” although certainly there are times I think that would be nice as well; no, all I want is to go back for a bit, to remember more. To feel that way again. Fortunately this moment is just that – a moment – and it will pass and my life will continue exactly where it left off, but in that moment, I’m walking in the pasture at Davis Road picking wild strawberries, or sitting in the high school library with Anne and Katie talking about tests or boys, or skating behind a shovel on the pond trying to clear it smooth, or lying in my bed listening to the Eagles’ Greatest Hits.
In that moment, at least, I am home.