Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Home

I'm home.


It is funny how certain I am in that statement.
This is especially true when, though silent mathematics, I realize that in a few more years, I'll have lived away for longer than I resided in this house. 
Still, despite making the same observation each time I inch into city limits-- that it feels like time has slowed and that nary a day has passed since my last visit, even though it has nearly a year-- it never fails to astound me.

I know people define hometowns in different ways. Some label it the place where they were born, others the place they resided the longest, and others eschew the notion of hometowns altogether. For me, it is puberty that makes all the difference in the world. 

We only moved here when I was ten, and while I have fond memories of tree houses, picking raspberries, and sloshing in pig pens, life prior to moving is more a series of idyllic snapshots than a genuine connection. I re-visited that city years later, and found little to be familiar outside of the numbers on the mailbox.

But here, everything is soaked in memories.
And nothing stands out more than firsts-- which are what adolescence is all about.

My first french kiss was in the foyer of the civic centre. 
My first date was also in the arena at the same location, where the junior hockey team still plays.
My first drink was down a precarious hill, in a secluded wooded lot, the entrance of which I pass every time I walk downtown.
My first time drunk was at the youth centre, where skateboards still echo today.
My first time skinny dipping was late at night, where you can see the lake narrow as you pass on the highway.
My first real job was at the only mall in town.
My first time smoking pot was underneath the bridge we drive over on our entrance to town.
The first I love you I really believed at the time was on a rock overlooking the water where we still picnic, whereas the first I love you that I still believe was real was spoken across the room from where I now sit.
My feet are touching the same place my feet touched when I lost my virginity.

These memories flood me as my eyes catch another detail or my feet turn a corner, though only a few make it past my lips. I fear that if I started, really started, the words would be like a waterfall, an unstoppable stream of consciousness, and might drown those around me. 

And, so, I let a few leak, like raindrops, while the rest swirl about in my head, until I step on the plane and they drain into the background, seeping away to make room for the other details of life.

23 comments:

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Your memories are sacred - I am glad you have so many fond ones...

the almost right word said...

I'm about to travel to what I will always consider "home." (Also the place of many firsts and, of course, puberty) I know so well these memories and musings. I feel them every time I drive the familiar streets. I am overcome with nostalgia.

Princess of the Universe said...

I have to confess- I've yet to skinny dip.

Joanna said...

This is beautiful. Going home always makes me so nostalgic. Enjoy these memories!

poodlegoose said...

Well-written. And I like your use of nary :) Home memories can be so strong. Firsts will always stick with us and draw us back to the place. It's kind of a weird experience for me, but I know what you mean.

And I wanted to say more, but I ended up babbling, so I'll just end on a short note.

Tony said...

I get the impression you're from a place that's not very big. That's me too. My hometown is VERY small, and as such, every little place has a thousand memories attached to it. It's always interesting to go back there, because anywhere you go makes you think of everywhere you've been. I love it.

Very well written post.

Maxie said...

no matter where I end up when I'm older I'm 100% positive that I'll consider my home I live in now the one. There's so much comfort there.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

Oh, how beautiful this was. I'm nostalgic these days, too.

Dan Mega said...

Very nice- you did drugs? Oh noes. Just kidding.

You know, now that I think about it, I don't want to return 'home' given my childhood experiences. And I've moved around so much that there is no central place for me to really call 'home' so to speak. My folks lived in 2 different places in high school and college before moving out east, so I never felt settled. Maybe I'll find myself a place to call home someday.

Caz said...

I get what you mean about the memories thing... that's why the town I grew up in is still "home" even though it doesn't feel like home anymore.
But home to me is also where I have a connection. Where I feel relief every time I go back there. (that's Vancouver btw)

ToughGirl101 said...

It's good to hear someone having such good memories. I think home to me is where I lived the longest as a youth... but who knows, maybe i'll find another place I feel "at home" in too.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

I love home. This post made me sad....I hope that I can continue making those memories and having that "home" feeling when even when I'm not "home."

Mrs4444 said...

I've said it so many times; you're brilliant. That's why I'm giving you an award later tonight. Thanks for sharing your talent.

JessWrites said...

I feel that way when I go home too. So many memories... so different from my world now. But always comfortable.

benjibopper said...

great tribute to your, and the, hometown. bruce springstein eat your heart out.

Kayleigh said...

I loved this, and smiled the entire time reading it. How true is all of that? I love how you put that all into words and someting tangible to grasp and understand. It made me start thinking of my own "spots" and locations for similar benchmarks of growing up.

I hope you have a wonderful time at home. Enjoy it.

Jenn said...

This post reminded me of a quote from Garden State:

Andrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize that the house that you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of the sudden even though you have some place where you can put your stuff that idea of home is gone.

Sam: I still feel at home in my house.

Andrew Largeman: You'll see when you move out it just sort of happens one day one day and it's just gone. And you can never get it back. It's like you get homesick for a place that doesn't exist. I mean it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place.

Sorry that was long!

Z said...

Going back to my hometown, I am always home, despite having lived away from there for so long... Glad you still have the place of so many memories!

Katelin said...

this is such a sweet post, oh the memories of home.

S'Mat said...

All those rites passaged in one spot! Dare we ask when the last time you did all those things was?

dmb5_libra said...

i love this post....there's no place like home

PrincessB said...

Oh memories. I love the comment about believing the "I love you".

the frog princess said...

My parents still live in the same house they've lived in since I was born...

I know what you mean about Home.