Sunday, August 02, 2015

Where The River Meets the Sea

Many years ago, William explained to me the true meaning of nostalgic, and it didn't seem right when he explained that it's not just happy memories, sentimental thoughts, but an anxiety, an ache, pain. I recalled, this academic summary, the clinical description of deep homesickness, sitting on the bank of this little river, the dappled light streaming through clouds and redwood trees, I felt it, and knew better than ever before what nostalgia is. Extinguished campfires still smoked lightly, and I could smell my abuela's kitchen, the smoke and tortillas, wood burning, flour with lard and water, cool tile floors, earthen walls, sunlight in the lime tree... it's a fragrance that caught my breath. What is that smell of home doing in this canyon, in this place where the river meets the sea? And why does it make my heart ache to think of places and sensations that I cannot access at will, may never return to, or know as I knew them before? And how can a very favorite place, a place that restores me, lifts me, make me feel deeply sad, long for intangible moments? Nostalgia. Just how William explained it to me. It must be true... we are stardust, or how else can we feel connected to places and moments seemingly detached?


  1. It's the mix of pain and joy that we carry with us; memory, the past, the moment to pause where we are yet surrounded by where we have been...

    1. Jennifer, thank you. It's a treat getting any comments, but when I hear from a friend, and can engage in a dialogue, then I am especially thankful.

  2. I'm not sure if I've told you how much staying power your posts, your writing, can have. This one has been turning around and around in my mind. It's been so close to me, I was shocked to discover it was posted 10 days ago! It feels like I just read it yesterday or day before yesterday at most.

    This is some beautiful writing, Natalie. And the sentiment is poignant. Thank you for sharing your emotions and thoughts!


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