On Missing Home
As I sit on the rivers edge gaping at the view, I’m reminded with a bursting heart, my love for this place. It’s like an old friend welcoming me back with a knowing smile and open arms.
It’s so great to see you, it says grinning like an ex-lover, a smile always brighter than intended.
So I smile back feeling my heart warm in my chest despite the cold. But I say nothing because it already knows what I need to say.
I fall into its waiting arms and let a little of my old self seep into my worn muscles. Just enough to remember what it was like and so she can see my new life; the other side. She looks around and inspects some of my new friends and my outpouring of words on a page.
She runs her fingers through our mess of curls and says, “it doesn’t look at all like we imagined,” a pause as if to consider something else or find the right word, “but it looks good… honest. It looks honest.”
I’m still not sure if I understood what she meant.
There’s nothing to adapt to here. It has all the familiarities of home with none of its responsibilities. It wasn’t that long ago that this place was the exact opposite. And so my friends kept me busy, with drinks and stories and bright eyes that tell me they love me. So I let them see the smile that I rarely use these days. The one everyone asks to see. Somehow the exchange lets us know everything will be alright.
But when I’m alone and I sit with my used-to-be home, I let myself remember and it doesn’t feel so painful. The losses and the heartache aren’t so prevalent and I can feel nostalgia and all its golden promises creep into my heart. It never lasts very long. This place, like any good friend, will not let me stay.
You cannot stay here, it says, I have given you all that I have to offer. I do not need to hear the words, I can see it in the sky and in the curves of the mountainsides. The place turns from me not with a cold shoulder but with a despondent glance that reminds me I cannot hide.
Here you will only find solace of memories and warmth of old friends, and a place to rest your weary head. You can always visit, but you can never stay. For your own good.
I swallow past the lump in my throat and nod my head knowingly to myself. I know, I think out loud, I know. So I rest my head against the banks of the river and look at the grey-blue of the sky.
Home means Nevada.