After my aunt died, I went home. Met newfound cousins, and renewed ties with those I had met before. I was surprised, even shocked, by how much I longed for and loved my old “home ground,” the people and the place. I decided that places can hold onto you – wrap gnarly tangles around your ankles so your feet won’t forget where they belong. The following is a little journal entry from a recent visit.
This place isn’t something you visit; it’s something you take in, ingest, absorb, so it becomes a part of you. You can never really leave.
This morning Bodi and I walk in cool air, through heavy fog, over very wet batture ground. In the grass, little colonies of blue-flowered lyre leaf sage still thrive, some seeding and some just starting to bloom. A red shouldered hawk calls, sails into trees. A biker speeds by on the levee as we move down to the water.
At the river, the sand bar seems higher despite the recent rain. The sand is packed down into ripples, the willows all flowering and thick. I pick some leafy twigs to take home and tincture, then sit on a log for a while to watch.
Lately, I am falling in love with the river. I don’t know what it is that captures me, sweeps me up like just another sodden bit of wood and carries me along – gets into my skin and dreams – becomes a compass point I have to turn to – am not really happy, or home, unless I can come on any morning to see its changes, settle onto a driftwood log and watch to see what the river churns up – check the sand bar for tracks of what’s been here since I was gone: beaver, mouse, egret, boar, maybe someday soon, when the heat notches up, an alligator. But I need all this, lately, like air or rest or prayer or food.
It takes me deep.