3/19/10

Is it normal to not want to return to a place you love?

The light was still on in the toy room, where I slept this past summer. I just lay on my mattress staring at the side of the shoebox. I was too tired to do anything else. Or maybe I was just comfortable looking at it like that. But finally, I propped myself on one elbow and flipped open the lid. I smiled up at myself. I was in a pink sequined dress, posing in third position with my hands on my hips. The next picture was the one of Kyle and me at the banquet breakfast POPS Choir went to our first morning in Disneyworld. Then a picture of me in my blonde wig and red and white polka-dotted dress, just before the closing night of Anything Goes. The fourth was one of my senior pictures—I am looking at the ground, the trees by the creek burning green behind me.

The day after I got home from Rexburg, I told Mom I needed to go to the bank to make a deposit. I climbed into our little gray Camry and as I drove away, I watched the dust rise up behind me in the rearview mirror. I made my way to the bank eventually, but first, I drove up the red brick main street to my high school. School had been released for summer break a week before, so I knew no one would be there, but I looked around and behind me anyway before parking under the single tree in the Manhattan High’s parking lot. This had been the meeting place before and after our choir concerts and musicals and ACT tests and rehearsals. Kyle walked me out to this Camry parked under this tree one morning after the show choir workshop POPS put on for the resident grade school kids.

I love Manhattan, especially in the summer. I love our family weed-pulling fiestas at 6:30 in the morning, when the air is in-between the coolness of evening and the sticky humidity of day. I love running on dirt roads that are familiar, out past the old stone schoolhouse and the Manuels' red barn. There's a distinct smell there; I don't really know how to describe it, and I don't know exactly where it comes from--maybe it's the pasture grass or the dew or the leftover rain water in the ditches on either side of the road. But it's a sweetish, familiar smell. I love hanging out at City Park or AJ's Pizza at sunset with high school friends. I love going to the 30-person singles branch on Sundays.

Sometimes, though, I don't love memories. They usually make today feel empty. And memories constitute much of my living time when I'm in Manhattan. It's hard to move forward there because the past is so prevalent for me in that town. My mind plays the "remember when" game as I drive to work or walk into Dillons grocery store or listen to bands play during Arts in the Park, and especially when I drive past that red-brick building at the top of the hill on Poyntz Avenue. Manhattan means high school for me, and as a junior in college, I just feel the need to move on from there for good. Someday, I'll need to move on from Rexburg for good too. Places like these cannot be permanent. It's all a part of moving forward, moving forward. They have their time slot, their soliloquy in this Play of Life if you will, but there's no going back. That would screw up the plot.

5 comments:

Cools said...

That sort of feeling can lend itself to a sense of "homelessness." I sometimes get that feeling coming "home" from Logan, where I lived during high school. I don't feel like visiting Logan is "going home," but I don't feel like Rexburg is home either.

It's a sad feeling for me, because I don't feel like I have a place I can call home. Not homesick, just homeless.

meghan & jason said...

Your images brought me back to Kansas. I haven't been there in almost two years. I would gladly trade a few days of Idaho's cool, dry summer for a few days of stickiness and everywhere trees and green.

iBo said...

I know the feeling. That's why I haven't been back to the WC blog either...

Sky said...

Thomas Woolf said "We can never go home again." But, I disagree. We're on our way home--to our real home. And some of us have been blessed with the privilege of walking that path with great people by our sides. Though we may move away from each other physically for a little while, we're still together--just like we were before this sucky earth life. We find "home" in each other not in a place because we are strangers here walking in a strange land. But, we are not "homeless."
Yet, today, I sure the heck am "homesick"--for my Heavenly Father and for the peace and order of His kingdom. But in the meantime, I'll be grateful for all of you who remind me of how strong and kind we really are underneath the gunky stuff.

Kaitlin said...

I'm kind of embarrassed at how easily I forget about the real home I have waiting for me after this "sucky earth life"--a Home with my Father and people I love and a feeling of permanence, of goodness, of "yes, this is right," because it's where I really belong. Thanks for reminding me of that, Sis. Morgan.