Do you remember your childhood home? The place where your innocence was born and the foundation of all you knew that was true has molded you into what you love about being “home”? Maybe you don’t really have a physical place but a place you return to in your mind that takes you back to who you used to be. When I attended my 20th high school reunion a few years ago, I was compelled to visit the house I spent most of my adolescent years, between 5th grade and getting married at age 21. As I pulled up to the house on Grand Blvd, it seemed oddly familiar although it had been many years since I was last between the walls of this old Victorian, built in the early 1900’s. The trees shadowed the front steps and the walk from the street to the front porch that wrapped itself halfway around its front, seemed to beckon me inside. I stood in the middle of the walkway and stared at the front of it, remembering playing ping-pong on the 2nd story porch, watching the Fourth of July parades from the flattened roof, and playing football in the front yard. As much as it was the same, it was also different. The color was not white with green trim and I questioned if I was at the right house. But I knew I was because of the large silver bell that stood atop a pole that my dad would ring to beckon me home from the neighborhood park a few blocks away. Is there someplace that you visit from time to time that takes you back to the memories that will always be with you, regardless of where you are? I do. On occasion, I smile so big that I literally laugh out loud. Other times, I am faced with great sadness and lower my head as if to help make it go away. But as our roles change depending on the situations we encounter, I realized sometime ago that there are certain places that are no longer home to me. I don’t live there anymore. The people involved and the places I visited have forever molded me into who I am today, but I am not the same person I was, even when I first met those same people or visited those same places. Maybe all that has changed is my perspective or my attitude. The effort I give may be more of less one day, depending on what happened the day or days leading up to it. Going back to who I once was is not an option for me. I refuse to return to old stomping grounds that left me empty and wandering in such a way that I never made any tracks. Are you living in the past, wishing it was different? If they were good times, we wish they would never end. If not, then we wished they had never begun. Let go of what you cannot change and focus on what you can. Showing up at a place you used to live can be harmful just as well. You have to move on and appreciate all you learned in your childhood home, but you don’t live there anymore.
Michelle Homme 2013 ©