I was reflecting on my previous post and about how I travel back to some of the same places but it's no longer the place I yearn for...
What causes this? And is it still the same place? Let me give you an example...
This is my Mamaw's house...although it was sold almost 40 years ago. This is the property, the structure, and the address of the place where we spent several weekends a month and full weeks in the summer. Those are her roses on the left still growing and those hedges have been there as long as I can remember.
But the front door is closed. There is no one on the swing...not even me and my brother swinging high...no sound of my Mamaw's broomstick pounding underneath the porch floor warning us young'uns to not swing so high that it flies off its hooks.
I don't hear The Secret Storm...her favorite soap opera...playing through the screened windows. And the house is no longer green.
And where is the vegetable garden...the one where I toddled out with my Mamaw holding the colander with two tiny hands for her to put the fresh cukes in...where I could smell the vine-ripened tomatoes in the next row?
And where are the Chase's who lived next door? Donna and Doris...who my sister and I spent time with when we were visiting?
Where's the swing on the back porch...the one too close to the house that we would swing horizontally? Where's my Bebaw, hunched over on that same swing? Where's the smell of a quick whiff of smoke from his Lucky Strikes? And where's the "bird bread" in the yard from his uneaten half of toast from breakfast?
And where's the clothesline and the wooden clothespins in the hanger that looked like a dress? Where are those crisp white sheets freshly laundered yet still wet that I loved to run through?
Where is the smell of Zest soap on our skin as we go out the kitchen door fresh from our bath in the bear claw tub after a day of playing in the hot, humid summer? Where is Mrs. Chase who came over from next door having decorating a plain cake my mother made for my sister's birthday?
And where is my Mamaw and cousin, Lynn, waving from the upstairs porch as my family and I head north to Ohio on the road below...after a wonderful time with my mother's parents and family?
So...when is a place no longer the place it once was? Change is imminent. Life is not static. While much of the aspects of this place that gave it meaning is long gone...this place has amazing power...
The power to stir the senses and emotions of days I love to remember...even after so much has changed.