I’ve always been drawn back to the places where my name was, once upon a time, on the mailbox.
Uprooted from the expansive plains of North Texas and thrust into the winter-clad, forested terrains of South Eastern Norway at the tender age of twelve, I was left grappling with an unspoken void. This sudden transition from familiar flatlands to snow-kissed woodlands gave birth to a perpetual yearning for a feeling of ‘home.’
It’s almost as if I could touch and feel the places where I could reabsorb the joy experienced, mend old heartache and grief, and witness chapters of my story- it’s almost as if I keep trying to revisit these places; I could find pieces of myself left behind. Pieces I would very much like back.
Not that long ago, I flew back to Texas to visit my family. After landing, it only took a few days to feel that old familiar pull to revisit my childhood home- a ranch-style starter house in your typical DFW suburbia setting. I climbed into my dad’s pickup truck, drove twenty miles, and soon found myself turning onto that old familiar lane where I used to ride my bike until the street lights came on. I remember it as shady and sleepy, with trees lining the street on both sides, creating a canopy that brought much welcome relief from the blistering Texas sun during the summer. Most of those trees are long gone, and the street stands naked and exposed.
In the middle of that bare street is the house that still serves as the setting in my dreams, even after all these years.
Suddenly, I stood before the tree I used to climb up and read books on. My handprints and a clumsy cursive signature on a block of cement near the sidewalk from that time I wanted to be like Lucy from I Love Lucy when she traveled to Hollywood. There was the ledge of the lawn I jumped off of pretending I could fly like Peter Pan.