Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Going Home.

I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to write about today. A few potential subjects popped into my head - the dinosaur ankylosaurus, celtic music, robots, even how glow-in-dark items work. While I do want to write about these things, today just didn't feel like the day. Though, in my heart, I knew I had to write. Nay, I am compelled to put words down.

So here I am. I'm letting the words lead me to where I need to be.

While trying to decide where this blog post would go, a certain piece of music started playing that reminded me of a feeling. Remember when you would get dressed in fancy clothes as a kid and take a trip to see family at the holidays? I know for me, the most exciting part about Christmas was going to see my maternal grandparents. Even though it was not my own, the sensation was like going home for me. The cookies, the turkey, the PRESENTS! Oh my... the entire season was just so wonderful. It goes much deeper than silly gifts and stuffing my face, though.

I realize the holidays aren't quite here yet, but bear with me in this moment.

If I sit here very still and concentrate, I can remember even the smell of my grandparents' house during the holidays. It's a memory I certainly can't describe to you with mere words, but I'm positive you can appreciate the invocation. Even better was the glow of ornaments and decorations.

A series of silver bells hung over a large mirror in the living room. They would light up and give this strange, but comforting aura as they rested above the mirror's reflective surface. 

My favorite seat in the house was Grandpa's chair. In my mind, I can still feel it.

To the left, a small coffee table with a beautiful lamp. The base of the lamp was bulbous and had an internal light, which was great for use as a nightlight. A beige rotary telephone sat underneath. Oh, how I miss rotary phones. The table itself was always full of great catalogs and magazines to browse through. To the right was where the Christmas tree would always sit on glorious display.

Curled up next to the Christmas tree, with the lights turned down low... that sensation of being at home is still with me.

The shine of the tiny light bulbs on the tree would echo and bounce across the room, making everything sparkle in the darkness. Little wooden ornaments adorned the tree, representing all manner of creatures and people. You just don't see old wooden ornaments like that anymore.

As we grow old and change, I think we all try to copy that feeling of home in our own lives. It's a very difficult feeling to copy, much less copy well.  Even still, if we are able to capture the aesthetic of home, many of those we love so dearly can't be there with us. Sure, they're there in spirit, but to be able to speak to them? To hug them? To get grandma's big sloppy kisses? To feel grandpa squeeze on you one last time?

Times change. People come and go. Memories are all we have.

I must admit -- I'm slightly teary-eyed as I finished that last sentence.

We spend our whole lives in search of going home. For each of us, it's a different road, a different destination. Yet, what we want is the same. The unfortunate part? Some of us get there and some of us don't. What a terrible thing it must be to never get back home again. The empty faces we pass on the street, huddled under soiled blankets and boxes. Surely, those poor souls just want to go home, but somehow lost their way in the fog of real life. What about the lowly inmate, locked behind bars for crimes against their fellow man? Did he or she not start out with good intentions? Did they not want to just feel loved a little bit longer? To find a little bit of solace in the storm? No matter their crime, they too were at one point in their lives just an innocent child. What happened to lead them away from home?

The journey back home is about finding those things that make us feel whole again.

One more meal with those we love. One more hand shake. One more toast to the cook. One more bottle of wine. One more Christmas carol. One more hug. One more moment of knowing the outside world doesn't matter.

As much as it can hurt at times, I'm thankful I've never forgotten these things.

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