Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Homesick

Don't get me wrong here, Colorado does have some perks. In just 45 min I can drive to the countryside. The snow covered mountains are amazing. The rushing creeks and rivers are a beautiful sight and comforting to listen to.

Where my house is located it reminds me of NY where I grew up. I have no worries about how to get some place. Buses. Trains. Strip malls are in walking distance if I need to. And shopping. I swear I think besides skiing, shopping must be another major sport here.

And I have two of the best bookstores only a bus ride away.

BUT

(you guys knew there was a but coming)

I've never felt at home here.

Maybe I'm getting old--cough--and I'm feeling nostalgic for things and people long gone. Maybe it's because I've never made real connections here. Or maybe it's that I've been here for ten years now, and it's time to move on.

The other morning I dreamt I was walking on a beach. I woke up and for a fleeting moment I thought I smelled salt water and seaweed. I know they were memories from my days in FL and NY. But for just for a few moments there, I felt at home.

Then reality set in because the nearest ocean is what...a thousand miles away? I've got some lakes out here. Reservoirs. Rivers and streams. I suppose for now I can make due here in this dusty state.

A terrible thing to be homesick and you don't even know where home is.


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11 comments:

  1. I so totally understand that feeling. I love it here in New England and feel more at home here than I ever did in Montana -- but some mornings I wake up missing high mountain air and sagebrush with a pain that is almost physical. Some days the dampnessa and green hills of Massachusetts close me in like I'm being squeezed into a box.

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  2. I've never lived within smelling distance of the ocean, though Jim grew up on BC's north coast. Still, every time we're out along the Pacific, it doesn't take much for me to think I could throw (almost) everything away and move to the coast. Once we're home from vacation it takes a week or two for me to remember why I actually DO like living where I do.

    Honestly, if God hadn't invented grandkids, we'd be seriously looking at moving upon retirement.

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  3. I've never lived far from the ocean. In fact, for a big part of my life I lived on it. So the smell of it has always been around. But there's a unique smell that means home to me, and it's the wet sand and salty air at Harrison Drive beach in Wallasey, where I spent my boyhood on the edge of the Wirral between the Irish Sea and the rivers Mersey and Dee. When I feel homesick for anywhere, that's the smell I remember.

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  4. As a kid, we vacationed on the ocean once every two years and I always felt that I was missing something from my life not being near it more.

    So now I live on the ocean and can't imagine ever moving away from it. I could live in many places, but unless it's not on the ocean, it wouldn't be home.

    I do, however, get homesick for the house I owned in Toronto for 9 years. If only I could have transplanted it to the ocean somehow... ;)

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  5. Bonnie--I do wake with that awful feeling in my chest as well. For some reason the last month it's been worse. Colorado is a VERY dry state. Before I moved here I thought it would be all green and such. Nope. In spring yes, but by the time mid June rolls around everything turns...brown.

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  6. Val--when I lived out in Levittown I had to take a bus to Jones Beach. My friends also would head out there near dusk when we had problems to talk about. Not sure if we were supposed to really be there after dark but no one ever yelled at us. My dad loved the ocean as well. He used to have a boat. Mom made him get rid of it when I was young. Some part of my soul relaxes when I hear the break of the waves on the beach.

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  7. David--thank you for sharing that childhood memory. I agree, each beach I've been to has a unique smell to me. Sadly it's been ten years since I've been near any ocean. Probably why I'm getting antsy.

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  8. Alex, I envy you that you get to live near the ocean. Thinking on it, I don't know if there's any house I've lived in that I'd transplant. I think for me it's about where. As I mentioned to Val above, it's very, VERY dry here.

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  9. I'm not sure I have anyplace to get homesick for. I used to feel at home when I got back to Central Iowa. I still enjoy Iowa, but I don't feel as much kinship as I used to there. I've sometimes said I've spent so much time with family in Southern Wisconsin that it was like home. But it really isn't. I never wanted to leave Montana when I was stationed there in the early 80s, but, of course, I did leave, and I haven't been back (plan to next year for a brief pass through). I tell people I'm a naturalized Texan. I've been a Texas resident for 28 years, so I guess that's home, but it really isn't.

    Anyplace I've ever lived with family doesn't have any family living there now. Where family lives now, isn't my home. I cannot answer the question, "What is your hometown?" because I don't have one. I can tell you where I was born, where I spent my formative years, where I graduated from high school, where most of my family lives now, and where I live now, but none of those qualify as a hometown in the manner people think hometown to mean.

    And I've adopted a small town in Central Texas as my home, but as far as the residents are concerned, I'm not from there, and neither was any of my family, so I live here, but I'll never, in their eyes, live here.

    It's a troubling question, Maripat. I haven't a clue where or how to find an answer.

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  10. Jean, I know exactly how you feel. The smell of the ocean comforts me, but I grew up in the suburbs of NY. Would I ever go back? No. The taxes alone are a nightmare. But truthfully I don't know many people there anymore and I began to feel like an outsider.

    My response to you was getting way too long so I figure I'll stop it here and use what I wrote as a new post.

    See, you inspired me.

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  11. And you helped me articulate something I've had trouble articulating. Looking forward to reading the new post!

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