Friday, August 5, 2011

You can never go home again.

It was Thomas Wolfe who said that you can't home again.  This is something I think about all the time. I think about Place.  What is home? Where on earth do we belong and does it matter? 
All my life I wondered where on this planet I actually belonged. Where I was born was a circumstance, not a choice. I knew that I didn't want to be there forever. The place didn't call to me. I felt no magic. Detroit has its own kind of magic, most of which I feel is negative right now though I realize that is a biased opinion. It is actually heartwarming for me to see people who care so much about the city where I grew up, but it wasn't the place for me. Being surrounded by all the decay and all the depression was not good for me. 
When the opportunity arose to move to Atlanta I jumped at the chance. It was absolutely the right decision for me at that time.  Atlanta was a great move and this city is fantastic and there are lot of things I like about it. I was pleased by how easily I made friends here and how quickly we fit into life in the south. I knew the South was where I wanted to be, but was Atlanta my place on earth?
I always yearned for a place that would make me feel connected. I didn't know what that felt like so I kept waiting for it. I was concerned that my desire for place was masking another problem. Were there things about myself that made me feel inadequate that I felt only a "change of scenery" would fix? I spend a lot of time with introspection and you know what, while I'm certainly not perfect I really do like myself. I am proud of myself and my accomplishments. I am always looking for ways to improve. But having a connection to a place was not about fixing any problems, it was about filling a need. Fitting that last piece of my life story puzzle. 
Some of my favorite music is about places. It is s staple of folk music.  John Denver fell in love with Colorado. Jason Isbell sings about his home in Alabama. Cowboy Mouth is rooted in New Orleans. I want to feel that kind of draw and that kind of magic when I think of a place - my place. Everyone's place is different, but everyone has a place. People might even have more than one place. I didn't know what it would feel like but that is the beauty of it. Then, as soon as I set foot in Asheville North Carolina, I knew it was home.  It has been a great journey to come to that place. We are still in the middle of it as we build our own little house in the woods. There is magic in that place. Something I can't explain. I feel better simply being there. Certainly that doesn't mean it will fix all my problems or make everything perfect, but it is comforting to be embraced by the mountains and the trees. It is comforting to know I belong somewhere. 
They say it is the journey, not the destination that matters. The journey shouldn't stop just because you've found your place in the world. But there is certain comfort knowing that there is a place you can come back to rest your head. 

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