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[LJ Idol 10: Week 7] Fatherland

Come home, daughter.

The city that whispers its claim was never my home.  Or perhaps I should say, it hasn't been my home yet.

I find excuses, make excuses, to come back - if not to the city itself, to something somewhere close by.  I've been doing it for years.

Maybe it started when my husband was devoting his Saturdays to finishing a bachelor's degree, and I needed something to do with two energetic small children who would nonetheless reliably sleep in cars.  And I got tired of heading west, to where I'd been, to the city I'd loved and lost as its job market crumbled and rusted away.

There was life there, but not my life.  And like a pioneer in reverse, instead of heading west, I headed east.  The job was good, my one salary paying twice what both adults in this household had earned before the move.  The schools we found were good, too, though what we planned to do and what we ended up doing were very different.  There's a small single-family house, I can call myself a homeowner with bitter laughter because it feels like the bank owns far more of this run-down fixer-upper than I ever will.  There is a church I belong to, and a good school and a dance team for the kids, and a YMCA where I can swim and do the other exercises that feel more like physical therapy than real exercise.  My job comes with good medical insurance, and we have the full complement of professionals that can attend to our health.

And yet -

It's been ten and a half years, and I still don't feel like I've put roots down here.  For perhaps four of those years, I was looking backwards, assuming that either I'd go back to the city where I started my adult life once I could earn professional wages there, or I'd move further west still, reconnecting with my mother and my grandmother and all that side of the family.

Then the winds shifted.  I drove southeast instead of west, taking advantage of the reciprocal provision of our children's museum membership to do something different.

The kids had fun.  I had fun.  On a day we all had off, I brought my husband along, and he had fun.

We drove a little further and had plates of meatballs at IKEA.

I kept finding reasons to come back.  The museum.  The zoo.  The hockey games.

I remembered being a little girl walking through a complex of brick townhouses, the one my father grew up in, visiting Grandma Agnes, who taught me how to crochet, a skill I am now passing to my own girls.

I have the trappings of a life here, the walls of a house, the security of a job in a field that I enjoy.

But I am growing, stretching toward that sunrise, letting the city tug on the sleeve of the jersey I wear and pull me along.

Come home, my child.

I can't.  Not yet.  But someday I will.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 1st, 2017 03:33 am (UTC)
This was lovely.
Feb. 1st, 2017 01:01 pm (UTC)
My mom would relate to this, i'll read it out to her :) A well written piece. especially liked this line :"But I am growing, stretching toward that sunrise, letting the city tug on the sleeve of the jersey I wear and pull me along."

Feb. 1st, 2017 03:19 pm (UTC)
I totally relate to this! You articulated it perfectly. Nicely done!
Feb. 1st, 2017 08:53 pm (UTC)
Beautifully written.
Feb. 1st, 2017 09:39 pm (UTC)
I feel as if where you feel at home is where your home really is. You might live in another town, state, country, planet... but your home is that place where you are comfortable, happy, knowledgeable about how things are. In that sense our homes might be a place we only visited once!
Feb. 2nd, 2017 02:40 pm (UTC)
You did such a good job on this! It sounds like you have the makings of a good life, regardless of what does/doesn't feel like home. For some people, home will always be where they grew up, no matter how long ago, while others are more transportable, and home is where they are right now.
Feb. 2nd, 2017 09:04 pm (UTC)
You've just summed up how I feel about Berkeley.

Thank you. This is lovely.
Feb. 2nd, 2017 09:30 pm (UTC)
This was an interesting read. I don;t feel the same pull back that you do, though I visit where I grew up a lot.

Feb. 2nd, 2017 09:32 pm (UTC)
Ooooh! This was really well done! I hope you get to "come home" soon and let your roots grow!
Feb. 2nd, 2017 11:04 pm (UTC)
I'm wondering now where that city is that is pulling you southeast. I hope someday you'll be able to live there!
Feb. 4th, 2017 12:03 am (UTC)
I loved the wistful tone throughout and especially at the end. Nice job! Hug and peace~~~
Feb. 4th, 2017 05:54 pm (UTC)
Ah, this is beautiful! Haunting. You made me feel that pull, too.

Feb. 4th, 2017 06:26 pm (UTC)

Oh, this is good, wistful and full of nostalgia.

Feb. 5th, 2017 09:25 am (UTC)
Home is always where the heart is ... I hope you will go back to where a piece of your heart was left behind and fulfill your soul's longing. This was very well written and is fully able to catch the readers attention.
Feb. 5th, 2017 09:43 pm (UTC)
I think I finally found a place where I belong. Took me 46 years!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )



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