That I can fall in love with places, only to visit them years later, and not feel the same. It seems almost unattainable – that feeling of magic and hope and love and home. I don’t know how to tell you that it’s not simple, and probably never will be. Of all of the intrinsic and extrinsic and internal and external factors and wars and turmoils that can be going on at any one time. I’m not simple in the ways of that home feeling, and it seems amazing that I have found that place.
I can liken it to picky eaters and picky lovers. The way something tastes fabulous one day, and is slightly off the next. And maybe you go off it forever, or just for a week or month or year. It can taste completely different in a different setting and be too this or too that. It’s just amazing how comfortable and delicious and oh so made for you something can be, and for it to last. And last.
Picky eaters and picky lovers and picky settle-downers, and picky homeowners. Every night, by the light of the moon through the tall trees, and the coyotes’ howl (last night I totally went outside and yelled at them to get off my lawn), and the warm, rumbling cat on my knee, I fall in love a little more. And every morning, by the light of the sun through the tall trees, the dogs’ bark, and the warm, rumbling cat underfoot, I fall in love a little more then too. It’s hard to resist.
Once when Des was two-months-old, we fell asleep facing each other. He was cushioned in his little bassinet with his head slightly propped up. I was on the couch with my head slightly propped up too so I could see him. I fell into a slow dream that I was living in San Francisco and I was a writer, riding the bus over and over, past coffee shops and mountains, Bruce Hornsby’s “Every Little Kiss” playing so loudly in my head, you’d think it was playing for real. Maybe it was.
We were both jarred awake by the Reign of Terror that Scarlet was at that point, running in and out of her room 20 times during nap time. Did you ever wake up in that disoriented way you can only feel when you fall asleep in the daytime and wake up suddenly from a dream? And all of the pieces of dream and life and time and space are floating just out of reach. You briefly forget the important details of your day, and even more briefly, of your life. Who. What. Where. When.
It’s surprising sometimes, if it hasn’t happened in awhile, or if you thought it might never happen again, and does. That strange sense of disorientation and bewilderment. The way you can get lost in your dream, and in that place between sleeping and awake, and in your day, and in your own life. It’s all about timing and chemistry and comfort and the movement of the sun and the moon through the tall trees. You can find all the places to love, but can you feel found?
That home feeling is more than the light of the sun and the light of the moon through the tall trees. It’s people and love and hope and dreams. It’s having YOUR people – that you can lock eyes with and instantly feel oriented and grounded. Safe and secure. In love and at home. It’s not just that, though, because picky eaters and picky lovers and picky settle-downers, and picky homeowners. The moods change, and with it, the moon. The moon changes, and with it, your timing and chemistry and hope and love and dreams. Your light and your comfort in all the right places, and your delicious darkness with which to hold your secrets and your mysteries.
That home feeling is the moving of the sun and the moon through open window shades and through open hearts and through outside breezes, making you catch your breath just so.
I’ve fallen in love before, with moose pajamas in a shop in Jackson, Wyoming. The Ashland, Oregon glow. The smile of the border patrol agent when I showed up at the American/Canadian border on bicycle, with my passport in my jean jacket pocket. Calistoga fields of gold, and San Francisco fog of grey. Low humidity, no snow, or swirling snowflakes blurred with stars. Thousand Islands, NY, and a thousand islands – each one tropical and full of the kind of sea life you shine your flashlight into dark waters before dawn to see. Beach houses and mountain cabins and mystical towns. Whale eyes and footbridges, and then hot tubs in the crisp, clean air.
This is my place. The Pioneer Valley (when you see the Finish the Sentence Friday prompt, you’ll understand my direction, I hope). This little slice of heaven – western Massachusetts – that I never even considered, until I stumbled into town. It was always in pre-dawn hours in the beginning. No sleep and the search for pancakes and bacon. I found a place within New England, a place I always dreamed about, that isn’t really city, country or suburbs. It’s just.. home. Northampton. And it’s surrounded by a vivid wilderness that is 100% New England wild.
It’s where I sleep and dream and hope and love. Where I kiss and hug and frolic and play. Where my heart beats a little fast, for all the right excitement, and a little slow, for all the right comforts. Those blurred and blurring lines between dreaming and waking, and moon and sun. It’s where I lay my head to slip in between, with places and names etched onto my lips, and onto my heart.
I lay my head, boys
I will call my home” — Tom Waits
I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday (FTSF) for another challenging prompt. This week’s topic is “Photo Prompt: Pioneer” And there’s time to write yours. Link up HERE.