The long grey strip of highway 24. Old mansions and farmhouses, great machines of agriculture, the thresher, the plough, silos of wheat and cattle in open fields; I’ve driven through morning haze and evenings’ blazing sky, watched the moon rise and listened to the rain as I drove by.
All the while I found pieces of myself. Quiet prayers to an empty sky, hopeless ranting’s as the possibilities passed me by, strangers in old broken down houses, cats and dogs.
I’ve discovered perspective, all these lives intertwined. Strangers and doorsteps, children asking who I was, policemen questioning my intentions, stories of lives captured as I listen, not a moment wasted as I share bits of intricate lives.
The rain falling outside, tree frogs and crickets in backyards, old churches, burned up cars and broken down barns. I smelled the burning wood and afternoon dinner, fresh fried chicken and burnt bacon, parents and grandparents, nephews and grandchildren as she knitted blankets and kept pictures on the mantle.
I listened to stories of children lost. I learned about missing pieces in families, broken plans and houses full of ghosts. I found myself in every story, the hurts, the joy, each long path and destination.
All of us, yearning for something we don’t even remember but miss dearly. A feeling of home, of safety; a common thread in every blanket, a question in the eyes of old photographs each seeking something lost.
Home is some small structure in the middle of nowhere or the grand mansion that once was the families’ pride, something missing in the voices of grandparents. Something we all lose and are desperate to find.
Home in all its simple trappings, remnants of hopes and dreams. Memories that fill the mantle and haunt us when we sleep, that bit of a child we’ve lost, the memories we’re desperate to keep.