I've been thinking about family a lot lately. I dragged Jesse back and forth through half of Delaware this past weekend looking for my grandparents' old home because I wasn't sure exactly how to get there. It had been over 12 years. I have such warm, vivid memories of visiting as a child and playing in the kitchen with my grandma and nosing about their vast yard, poking my head into things while my grandpa worked outside. Well, when we finally found their old street and their old plot of land, their trailer was gone, hauled off and replaced with a sprawling new house and manicured front lawn. I don't know why I thought it would still be there, like nothing could have possibly changed. But I do know how momentarily empty I felt. Like my memories and truths had somehow disappeared along with the house itself.
I guess my mom was right when I called her and she told me you can never really go home. It just won't be the same. In that sense, our home of origin is not necessarily a physical place, but really a precious time of life, namely childhood, that slips through our fingers while we're busy looking straight ahead, trying to catch a glimpse of a shiny future. And home isn't just one place, but the many places and people and experiences that nurtured us as children and profoundly influenced who we were, are now, and are still becoming. So I guess it's never really gone, but instead changes as we grow, reflect, and recreate it time and again in our minds. . . weaving its way through the stories we tell about ourselves.
With that in mind, I'm heading home this weekend. Can't wait :)