Coming home wraps me in good feelings. A little sad, a little wistful, but full of wonder and overall good. I like coming home at night. The city lights of my small town wink at me, as if to say they’d been waiting for me and put on a show to guide me in. When I pull into not-quite-home, the North side of town, my heart pounds a little. If I had a tail, it would be wagging like a dog whose person just opened the garage door. Not-quite-home, but nearly. It’s when I come upon the lights of the harbor that my heart swells and I breathe ‘home’. Different seasons all bring me to the same conclusion- a sea of love for the town that helped raise me. In the summer time, I might stop for a frozen custard at my favorite custard place. Windows rolled down, I breathe the air wrought with smells of the lake. In winter, I might pause to walk around on the crunchy snow, gazing at the holiday lights.
Sometimes I curve away from the lake side to cruise through our tiny downtown area, allowing memory and emotion to carve little spots of happy in my heart. The lights of town laugh and wink at me, sometimes pointing out new things in place of the old- A new business, a new walkway. Downtown sports these new accessories happily, showing them off as I pass by. Sometimes I feel sorrow- a small business has closed down and a corporate one took its place. But mostly, I laugh along.
Memories always flood my head, vying for attention. I will take the time to savor them: walking on my favorite trail, 20 minutes outside town with the best dog this earth created, now passed on. Running through the woods on horseback, reckless with no helmet and reveling with the wind. Sitting on the breakwall at midnight while a storm raged, lightning crashing on the water and sending a jolt of energy through me.
It doesn’t really matter how much this place changes. It is home, and I will love it always.