homesickness


i grew up with an earlier version of these tumblers-- my parents used them as coffee mugs, mint julep cups, and my brother and i drank milk out of them.  my godparents, lee and pup mccarty, made ours in the early 1960's.

and though i feel very much at home in my current life-- in my house, my shop, amongst my friends and family-- little things can easily make me homesick for other periods in my life-- for other homes.

i have just returned from a week-long vacation to the area where i grew up.   i have an unusual history with that place-- i grew up in a tiny college town in maine-- a beautiful little place bounded by two rivers, and anchored by a thriving state university.  i moved away when i was eighteen without any thought of returning.  then, almost ten years later, married and ready to have children, i moved back-- bought a house less than half a mile from my mother's house, and settled in to slay the dragons of my youth.  nine years passed-- my daughters were born, i designed houses and taught classes-- and i became a full-grown adult.  as my marriage started to fall apart i realized i couldn't stay in that place-- i needed to stretch my wings and be an adult somewhere where everyone did not know my mother and remember me as a teenager with pink hair.  i moved to western massachusetts, started the shop, got divorced, and settled in to this life.  now i am happy and settled in my adopted home.

yesterday afternoon, however, at the tail end of my trip to maine, i was walking with a good friend of mine, enjoying a last walk/visit before heading 'home'.  we walked past the house i had grown up in, past  the house my children were born in, past the houses i had learned how to work with clients in-- and we ran into people.  it is july and a lot of my childhood friends are also home visiting-- we ran into the older sister of one of my best childhood friends, another friend i had not seen since high school (though we are friends on facebook), and we ran into my first serious boyfriend and his daughter.

suddenly i was overwhelmed with homesickness.  overcome with longing for a part of my life that is over, for a time when i was daily surrounded by people who have known me all my life; for a time when my mother lived down the street; for a time and a place where everything was familiar and where i always knew my place in the whole scene.

home has many layers, doesn't it?

-mary-moore.

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