Friday, May 23, 2014

What Is Home - Thoughts On Home, Place, Schwinn bikes, and Dogs

To me home has always been an outdoor place. 

I grew up in upstate New York where there were snow blizzards; where my siblings and I bundled up and spent hours outdoors playing in snow piles and making snowmen. In the summer we played in Lake Champlain. And while I don’t recall indoor places as much as outdoor places, I remembering riding my green Schwinn with its banana seat and handlebars with streamers, and sitting on the back porch drying our hair at the end of the day by sitting in the sun. 

There are places I wanted to be my home as an adult. 

I hiked four days on the Long Trail before moving to Vermont. I lived in northwestern Maine and skied and hiked the mountains, I thought this might be home. 

I return to these outdoor places in my dreams and remember conversations with friends and worrying about beavers as me and my dog swam in the White River off Route 4 near Killington, Vermont . 

All these places were surrounded by trees, lake, rivers, and bugs. 

I remember standing outside my front door with a landscape filled with sage and rolling hills, and this place was home; and was home for five year. After I walked my dogs on the trails by this home I smelled sage and freedom. This place, a chosen place, was nothing like my childhood in the northeast. 

Now I hike in a desert place, a rocky, hot, prickly landscape with 3 percent humidity. This place is not home but teaches and I learn from loss and mistakes.

Home is geography and memory. Nothing here reminds me of my past homes. However, I can close my eyes and remember the lake, the ocean, family, and the eastern mountains. 

Goethe wrote that all writers are homesick and searching for home. I guess I’ll always be a bit homesick for New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Colorado but home will always be where my dogs are.

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