Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Itching...

Our home is in a lovely, lively part of a gentile town. There are parks a-plenty, Max trains, Farmer's Markets, the library—all within walking distance. There are classes for the kids through Parks & Recreation. The neighborhoods are tidy. Our neighbors have become extended family. The schools are nice—it's all very nice. Right down to the baggies of dog poo and coffee cups in the park garbage cans.

I'm fed, sheltered, clothed, socialized, and entertained.

Yet I feel an itch. An itch behind my eyeballs and inside the ventricles of my heart. An itch that can only be poulticed by dripping mosses, old trees that make me feel young, round stones and dirt beneath my feet. An itch that requires a balm made from wild huckleberries and fresh caught trout and lake mud and a blanket of stars at night. STARS.

I feel as though I am a zoo animal. I jumped into a truck that smelled of delicious things to eat and woke up in a place that looked like my natural home but wasn't. There's too much plastic, my range is too small, there are people around—all the time, the artificial ambiance track plays in loops, the fences are too high, and I can't break through the plexi no matter how fast I run when I hit it.

Yet everyone is so nice here.

When I was eleven years old, my grandfather died.  My father, brother, and I, road-tripped all the way to Southern California to my relative's home for the funeral.  Their home was opulent, cavernous, easily a million dollar home (in the 80s) and I looked into the back yard and blurted out, "Your yard is so small! I'm sure glad I don't live here, I would feel so cooped up."  The adults looked at each other and laughed at my frankness and naivete.  I'm pretty sure one of them patted my head.  We lived in shitty duplex, with holes in the floor of the kitchen and no handles on the shower.  But, we had 200 acres of area to roam which was surrounded by Forest Service land on three sides and a golf course on the fourth. Deer wandered in our yard eating fallen apples, the acreage was home to two horses that I fantasized were mine, a mile trek through the forest land found me at a creek in which to catch crawdads as I kept a sharp lookout for bears.  I was feral and free and I wouldn't trade those moments for all the square-footage and granite countertops in the world.

I itch for home. Not home as a place, but as a habitat; one with fewer people, more trees, running water, wilderness to explore. A place that is wild enough to make me feel tame. A place where I fear animals as they fear me. A place where I feel a part of the ecosystem rather than apart from it. I itch to introduce the wonders of this life to my daughters and my husband.

But you must build your business before you build your home.

I have no business, I have nothing to contribute to a new home.

So I wait. I get creative with coat hangers and Q-tips in effort to reach those itches. Books are windows to the world to which I will return someday. FaceBook and coffee are distractions…I run on my wheel to stay in shape for the day I run free.

I will miss this zoo when we leave. We will miss the friends we have here—perhaps they will come too?

But the damned itching!

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