Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Do you ever wake-up feeling homesick?

This may not be a good time to scratch around for deep thoughts, because Maria pulled an all nighter, crying, and frustrated by mystery ailments. Now my eyes are achy and my thoughts are muddled. I don't think she could take a nap long enough that I can recover. Sigh.

I do feel homesick. I miss my family, the rest of it, the faces, the jokes, the voices and common threads we share. Shared. Maybe it's missing family and feeling homesick that prompts me to daydream about taking a road trip. Alex suggested we go to the mountains, and that might alleviate some of my longing for home and familiar touchstones. We went to the mountains so often as children, to that mining town with the apple orchards and general store, that just being there can sometimes make me feel grounded.

Old pictures can take me home a bit. There are moments in my life that resurface, complete with sounds, scents, warmth and flavors, when I see a picture, touch a careworn object. A ceramic figure standing on a garden shelf... it belongs to my Grandmother and it holds dinners at her kitchen table, and watering potted geraniums on her porch. Whittier, La Mirada, Westminster, San Antonio, Neptune, El Rancho. Homes and places.

A picture can be a lantern, holding light to a time and place, perhaps forgotten and yet still dear. Perhaps feeling homesick is a longing to meet the eyes of someone else that remembers too; someone that can confirm your stories and beliefs, and bring up more memories, like snapshots and mementos.

Maybe, because I am sleepy and a bit too worn, I wonder if time stands still in some places. Could we ever go back and find our old beliefs and stories and feel the same way, the same hunger, confidence or wonder? Do you have a place you can be and feel at home, grounded, connected?

I wonder if I collect things, hauling them from place to place, to serve as evidence, proof of my past, my pleasures and dreams. When people and places are gone, can a figurine, bracelet, or polished river stone keep the connection alive?

I went through this door and knew the faces of my family that graced its home. I miss them. I miss the cool adobe walls, the dark corner where maiz and caña stood, the wooden chairs, the soft and gentle hand that touched my own.

Houses, places, cabins and tents, apartments, backyards, kitchen tables, a corner in any place, a path to the ocean and dunes and driftwood, I feel a longing to go, to meet friends and family and share the past, enjoy the present and anticipate tomorrow.

1 comment:

Tarie said...

Awww, Natalie. =( Won't you be able to visit your relatives and/or friends soon? During the summer maybe??? My "home" is my two younger brothers JP and Brian. It's a good thing I still live with them...