Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On going home again

"And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." ~T.S. Eliot

Ask me a year from now whether or not it's true. I'm thinking that I'll be moved into the house I was raised in by the end of the month. When I was in Gr. 13, the Gr. 13s were given a room to hang out in during their spares. Most of the talk centered around how we were going to get from our small town to London, Toronto - anywhere where something/anything might happen. The guys seemed to do a lot of fantasizing about how great life would be if they became gynecologists. All that fantasizing paid off as I remember being asked often why such a small place managed to produce such a large percentage of the gynecologists at the closest major teaching hospitals.

Somehow I always knew my destiny would be to return to the farm I couldn't wait to leave. Could it be because my father had night terrors right until his death about all the various ways the farm could kill me - drowning, fire, drifter, attack by a rabid fox, pesticide exposure, being run over by farm equipment, etc., etc.? My personal fears were attack by rooster or being chased like Captain Hook by a crocodile. We don't actually have crocodiles but thanks to the marshland being turned back to a wetland, snapping turtles and copperheads have returned.

It is wonderful to have a place to go when life figuratively explored. With most things being different, home is an anchor, a rock, something familiar. As the weather warms, packing seems less daunting. I had built it up in my mind to be an enormous hurdle. In reality, I not only know belongs in each room but also what my mother used to keep in each drawer, cupboard, closet.
I even remember the books that my mother and grandmother kept in their bookcases and packed up books accordingly. At 60, one has as many family members on one side of the veil and the other. I get to be the living memory so the future can truly understand the past.

So now the big question is how many of my friends stayed and how many of my friends will be coming back to end the journey where it began. Maybe I should create the equivalent of our old Grade 13 room - a place for planning, dreams, hopes, a future. I understand people are healthier and act younger if they are surrounded by the music, gadgets, etc. that remind them of their days before they became whatever adult role they took on. Perhaps moving home is the fountain of youth. Ask me next year.

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