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The desire to be whole again

Next week I’m stepping away from all that is my world and returning to my childhood home: the farm I grew up on in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. The farm-house where I lived from birth till 19.  The yard where I played and coulees where all our adventures were carried out.  Mom’s still there, my brother and his wife are just across the way and sissy is up the hill.  Cows, farm dogs, wind, a wide open sky and conversations that meander in and out and go on forever.

an Aerial view of the family farm .. an Emjayandthem(C) photo

an aerial view of the family farm .. House and Homestead top left, barns and corrals lower right. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

A family wedding is the cause for celebration and I’ll be Mom’s date!   She with her Oxygen and a twinkle in her eye.  I teased her that we’ll “Thelma & Louise-it,” without the driving off the cliff part.  She snorted.  But when I told her that if we see Brad Pitt hitch-hiking I’m pulling over, she laughed out loud.  God, I love her.

themaand louise

Up to no good. Google.images.com

To say things there are familiar would be an understatement. The truth is, time has a way of standing still in your childhood home. And it’s comforting to know that some things still remain.

The kitchen radio, on from sun up to sundown, with farm reports and cattle prices, corny jokes and auction announcements.

The bedspread from the Sears catalogue, the same one that’s been on my bed since I was in college.  Cheery and clean, waiting for me.

Mixing bowls nestled where they’ve always been, tin foil in the 2nd drawer, and a toaster you have to jiggle the cord for.  A big can of coffee sits on the floor near the fridge, just under that east window.  Ivory soap in the dish by the sink, the same one where Dad stood as he cleaned up at night.  I swear I can still see him standing there sometimes.

... Dad's

… Dad’s “shop” .. where I still expect to hear him whistling … An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Books in bookshelves, pictures on walls, throw pillows arranged just so.

And at night?

Quiet.  Dark.  No streetlights, no cars rushing by, nothing.  Just quiet.

Big deep skies with stars that go on forever and, if I’m lucky, the Northern lights will visit me, too.

image from canada-maps.org

image from canada-maps.org

In the morning, I’ll be up with the birds and outside as daylight arrives.  I’ll visit the cows and play with the kitties, feel the wind blowing, and the farm dog will tag along with me.  My soul will sing and my smiles will not be contained.

Laddy and Stevie... family farm; an Emjayandthem photo (C)

Laddy and Stevie… family farm; an Emjayandthem photo (C)

I know things have changed, she’s had some setbacks, but her spirit is as strong as ever. She’s loyal as ever to her Riders football team, debates the news, and is a voracious reader. Talking about my visit and our plans, she said with such longing,  “It’s going to go by so fast.”

me & mom MD 2014

Me & Mom, Mothers Day 2014. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

I know.

I know.

That’s why I already feel the pinch because to stop everything and spend eight days together, every day, every meal, every night, and roll in those moments when it’s just the two of us, let me tell you what: I love it.  I love that we get to laugh and talk and tell stories and secrets and be girlfriends for a while.  Yes I’ll get out of her hair and take a walk and stretch my legs and when I come back in there she’ll be .. waiting for me.  Bright eyed. Ready to pick up right where we left off.

And I’ll thank God for the opportunity to love the life I have but still be so very lucky that I can touch wood, kiss her face and feel whole again.

“The desire to go home that is a desire to be whole, to know where you are, to be the point of intersection of all the lines drawn through all the stars, to be the constellation-maker and the center of the world, that center called love. To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood.”  ― Rebecca Solnit

 

Can you go back to your childhood home?  What’s the experience like for you?  Have you ever spent an entire week just hanging out with one of your parents? If not, I recommend it ~ you might be amazed what you’ll learn!

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Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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28 thoughts on “The desire to be whole again

  1. I’m envious. What a wonderful picture of your home that you’ve drawn for us & the memories shared. I look forward to reading of your visit, seeing the photos and hearing of the goings on at this special place.

    Have a slice of pie for me. Sour cream raisen
    R

    • There’s a line from a John Denver song that goes, “Hey it’s good to be back home again…” That’s the song I’ll be humming as I hear the crunch of the gravel road under my tires.

      And I will most definitely have me some pie!! MJ

      • “sometimes this farm feels like a long lost friend…” Get some peace while you’re there…I know that you will.

        R

      • oh yes!
        and, still missing my Frankie, I’ll get an extra dose of dog while I’m there – 2 farm dogs to follow me around & mooch off me 🙂 MJ

  2. Mac McDonald

    Oh,! That’s Lovely Dear. Thanks, Unc. ❤️

    Sent from Mac’s IPAD

    >

  3. Your post brought a tear to my eye. It’s wonderful to read all your memories of your childhood home, and know that so much of it remains just as it was when you were growing up there. I pass by my childhood home frequently: it has new tenants now. It’s most poignant when I drive by in the morning, the sun shining on the front porch, and I recall lazy summer days spent playing there.
    There’s no doubt you’ll have a special time with your mom and other family members. Can’t wait to read about it and see pics!

    • I feel very lucky that so much of it is the same – there’s great comfort there.

      I remember your post about your childhood home and when I looked at the pictures, from your words, I could see it transform into your wonderful home with your Mom and sisters. Very sorry to hear of the loss of your sister over the weekend, you have my deepest sympathies. ❤ MJ

  4. I’m excited for you. I moved 1000 miles from home in my late 20’s..spent 5 years on the East Coast, then had the opportunity to return to my roots. Totally glad for the experience, I came home a changed man. Both my parents are still alive…in the early/ mid 80’s also still live on the home farm. Not sure how many more years…I too have a relationship w/ my mom especially where we can talk on the phone or hang out and visit like two kids. she’s still sharp as a tack, although definitely can see her battling her physical aches and pains. Anyway, I will be thinking of you as you soak up your time w/ your mom. I KNOW she will love it as much or more than you. Blessings. DM

    • Thank you so much, DM. That’s wonderful that your parents still live at “home” – there was some talk a few years ago about Mom moving to town. Then one day she announced to all of us that she had no intention of “going to live with all those old people.” She realized that, in her corner of the world, she has my brother/sister in law there (best one in the world, by the way) + my sister all within reach. If she moved to town she’d be 25+ miles from THEM but near other older ladies. She is fiercely determined to stay put and I’m hoping that continues as long as possible 🙂

      Can’t wait to wrap my arms around her and enjoy some laughs face to face 😀 MJ

  5. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    What a touching post. How wonderful that you are able to go back home to such a beautiful place. My family homes are still there but new families are making memories there now. Enjoy your blessed trip and kiss your lovely Mother for me. Mines in Heaven. ❤

    • Thank you Shirley – I am very lucky for the childhood I had and for the home that remains. I will give her an extra kiss for you and all my friends whose Moms are in Heaven. ❤ MJ

  6. You are so lucky. My Mom is gone and there is no place to go back to.

  7. Beautiful post. And this line captures home for me too:

    “Quiet. Dark. No streetlights, no cars rushing by, nothing. Just quiet.”

    • Thank you. Sometimes the quiet is as deafening as city noise can be. I know you know what I mean. It takes a while to get used to. And, when you turn out the light at bedtime, you’d better have a clear path b/c you can’t see anything once that light is off! MJ

  8. Such wonderful memories and times. I’m envious that you can go home and bake pies, enjoy the livestock and critters, and be with your mom. My childhood home is gone, as are my parents. But I’m lucky enough to share ownership of our family’s summer cottage by the ocean, where my best memories always were anyway. Have a wonderful time on your trip!

    • I’m on Eastern time here in MI, she’s on Mountain time, so my internal clock will have me up 3-4 hours before her. That’s the time for the critter visits and pie/muffin/cookie baking .. then coffee with Mom and let the day unfold.

      How wonderful that you have a share in the family cottage by the ocean – just writing that sound dreamy!! ❤ MJ

  9. Oh, your post is wonderful MJ! You paint a most beautiful picture of a happy childhood in a safe and beautiful place with a down to earth family full of love and peace and humor. It made me cry and yearn to go home again too, but my parents are long gone. Cherish your real time with your Mom and hoard all those beautiful memories in your heart.

    • Thank you so much; I did have a wonderful childhood – lots of baby animals to play with, room to run around and explore, fresh fruits & vegetables, and a Mom and Dad who loved me very much. To be able to go home again is like touching wood — it gives me a sense of peace and calm that isn’t found anywhere else. Now there are family dynamics that come into play and there will be situations that will frustrate me but, when it’s just she and I, that’s where the magic is. Love. Conversations. Time together. And yes, I will hoard all of them 🙂 MJ

  10. Ah… this sounds heavenly. I wish you the most wonderful time and hope that time will slow its pace for a while when you’re there. Enjoy, MJ!

    I can still go see my childhood home, but it hasn’t belonged to my parents in a long time. Still, going to my parents’ house always provides a bit of “home,” no matter where they’re living.

    • there was a 5 day period in there when I forgot about work and just leaned into the farm life – 5 mile walks before 10 am, hanging out with the farm dog, and enjoying the silence … Mom and I had a good time, esp at the wedding. I’ll write more soon! 🙂 MJ

  11. You have taken us right into your home and your life as a child and as an adult. Well written, my friend. Enjoy your homecoming.

  12. The sounds of silence and twinkle of stars in the sky–it’s been so long since I’ve experienced them together. You are one lucky (blessed) girl, MJ. Enjoy it all, soak it in, and I hope the Northern Lights put on a show for you.

    • I rolled in the silence and the wind … and the howling of coyotes under a star-filled sky. The Northern Lights didn’t come out for me but I’ve seen photos from this week and they are magical! MJ

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