Home

I drove home tonight.

I sat in my dorm after class today until 7:30, and then my parents and sisters pulled up behind the building and I ran out and we drove home, and after three hours of talking I asked, “What are the lights we’re seeing to the right of us?” and my dad said, “That’s Mountain Home.”

Oops.

In my defense, I figured we were probably out at Glenns Ferry, it just seemed way too big for that.

Anyway, as we were driving into town I had a minor moment where I shook from nervousness and I couldn’t think why.

I’ve spent my whole life here, and most of the layers of it are here. And I thought about what the first eighteen years of my life were like. And I remembered the events of the past year or so in particular. And I realized that, despite my deep love for my origins in this awful dusty town, if there is anything I am running from, I am running from it.

Perhaps as much as I am running to it, and that is an odd concept.

Everyone runs, I think. But are we all running from?

This place is home, and I cling to it, but at the same time I want to put it behind me, make it a thing of the past. I don’t know what kind of relationship I want to have with my beloved old hometown anymore.

The same thing occurred as I was talking to my family in the car. Their lives are going on without me, and mine without them. My sister was grumpy about something in the car tonight and though she didn’t want to talk to any of us I felt more on the outside than ever. I could feel the subtle change in the relationship between my mother and me the two times I got irritated with her and she didn’t reprimand me for being rude. It’s different. Things are changing.

The funny thing is that we always think – and I think I’m not the first person to write this down – that home goes on being the same while we’re away, and that is never true. Everyone and everything on the planet has a life of its own. It all moves on, in its own good time. It’s meshing back together that is a problem.

Then again, this is one of those things where it’s a kind of suicide you can’t commit. You cannot be afraid to change things, just because you are afraid of change hurting you (and I know a lot of people, myself included, who would do well to remember this in their friendships and romances).

All of that aside, it is so inexpressibly good to be home, and I am going to go calmly and quietly to bed and to sleep, as my very dear Lucy Maud Montgomery said.

 

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