Monday, December 22, 2008
I love coming home.
It was a pleasant enough drive, despite the frosty weather. Three and a half hours can get a little stale after a while, but with the right music and the right mindset it goes by surprisingly fast. The mountains surrounding my little town were covered in frost, and the hazy sky seemed to melt into the trees. I had to force myself from stopping in some stranger's drive way to take pictures, but my restraint only lasted so long; I stopped further down the road and walked back along the highway.
My mother wasn't waiting for me to arrive, which is good -- she would have been worried at my hour-long delay. I think she would have been glad to know that plenty others were worrying on her behalf, though. No less than five cars slowed to make sure I hadn't broken down, and I just smiled and waved my camera at them. No, thanks. Yes, thanks, I'm fine. It's all so beautiful, don't you agree?
Home....where else can you go and be regarded as "that so-and-so girl, her mom married what's-his-name, he's related to Martha? Martha, she was in your class, and had that brother who married the ugly one?" In a small town everybody knows everybody, and that's the truth. It's something you don't realize you've missed until you're back and it makes you smile and you nod your head. Home is a place where you can cross your town in a mile, and leave your car unlocked, and wave at people driving by because they wave back.
I love coming home; it's like awakening from a coma. It's the same place you left when you lost consciousness, with the same people and the same trees, but everything's a little different -- the puppies are quickly becoming dogs, the leaves have lost their green. Your town is growing up without you, and suddenly you're less apt to take your days there for granted.