Slice of Life: Home

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Can you still call it home if you’ve lived elsewhere longer than all the years you spent growing up there? Can you still call it home if there are no living relatives there, just some boxes in your mom’s friend’s barn? I hope so, because I do.

It’s home because the sidewalk I scuffed along from the back screen door to the little building where my bike was stored is there. The little building that sat in the shade of the ash tree that turns a glorious yellow in the fall. The ash tree that shared the yard with a weeping birch with fronds that grew down to the grass making a cool and shady secret hiding place in the summer. (We cried when that tree had to be cut down. Perhaps the ash tree is gone now, too. I’m not sure I want to know because I remember how much it hurt to see that mom’s iris had been dug up. Will the maple in the front yard be gone?)

I’m going home at the end of the month, and it will be both home and not home in the same way that I am both the child who grew up there and not that child at all. There will be change and constancy, differences and similarities, familiar and unfamiliar. In the wind, I will hear echoes of my mother’s voice and my father’s laugh and on Main Street, I’ll be greeted by people who remember me but whose names I either never knew or can’t remember. And it will be okay. It will all be okay. I will be at home.

9 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Home”

  1. So beautifully written! At one point a twinge of overwhelm. It sounds like this very special place affected so many of your senses with sights and sounds and smells. Thankyou for sharing. May you revel in just being back there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a beautiful, thoughtful piece. It makes me think of all the places that have been home to me through the years. We are pieces of all we’ve known and home always lives in our heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I hope you enjoy your visit home. My brother died in December and my SIL moved to be closer to her son. I look forward to a trip home, but will be staying in a motel when I go next time. Still lots of folks there that I know, just no immediate family. Love how you captured the range of feelings with these words: “change and constancy, differences and similarities, familiar and unfamiliar…”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful piece of writing here, and what vivid memories you’ve shared. THANK you. As a matter of fact, I’ve bookmarked this post to share with my second graders next year when we do our study of “What is Home?” I can’t wait for the questions and thoughts that come from it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be back posting some of their responses…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary Lee, after reading your slice I see it as a beautiful piece of prose poetry. This line is one with lots of poetic goodness. “In the wind, I will hear echoes of my mother’s voice and my father’s laugh.”


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