home again

Muddy. Like the murky shallows of Trinity Lake when the waters have drop-drop-dropped and sucked the shoreline muck into red clay pools swirled with yesterday’s bath water. Like the ash falling from nearby fires, engulfing an entire state in smoke and soot, a sickly yellow fog no place should ever see (let alone breathe). My thoughts were hazy.

Who am I? And why am I here?

I needed distance. Distance from the he-said-she-said. Distance from the rush-rush-rush of hurryupandwaiting. Distance from the clammy humid-cloud that enveloped me the moment I opened my front door.

In all of my years in Tennessee and abroad, I have never been so homesick.

I flew West on July 12 and cried when I landed at the San Francisco International Airport. I laughed when I heard a passenger complaining about California’s gun laws. I smiled when I shivered as I walked to my rental car. I was home.

Home with all of its myriads of problems is still home.

I spent three weeks visiting friends and family. I played with my 15-month-old nephew. I sorted through childhood memory boxes and read old letters and journal entries. I relived my twenties like a movie watched in reverse—this is who I am; this is why I’m here . . . Here not only in location, but in body, mind, and spirit. Here in loyalty. Here in love. I’m here I’m here I’m-here I’m-here-I’m-HERE.

It’s raining today in Knoxville, pouring buckets in a fashion California rarely sees (and sorely needs). I’m not home anymore. But this is home for now, for reasons I must cling to, no matter life’s sea.

After all, those reasons are ME.


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14 thoughts

  1. Woah!!! Is that you wake-boarding and jumping!? Do you also do cart-wheels, flips, half and full-pikes with half twists!? Where are those shots!?

    Apparently you WERE excited to be home in super-fun California!!! I’d seize the day too away from hillbilly Tennessee in a devilish heartbeat!!! LOL 😈😄 I’ve been all through Tennessee and I’d take California, Oregon, Washington (state) ANYTIME… or several places in Europe, especially Nordic Europe! ;) <3

    • Lol, Professor. Yes, that’s me wake boarding at Ice House Lake in the Sierras. That was before the fires got really bad. I think it’s pretty smoky there now.

      I’m definitely a low humidity girl when it comes down to it. Living in the Pacific Northwest would be a dream. Of course, finishing school in Knoxville will take me just long enough to make it really hard to leave… That’s been my pattern, anyway.

      Hope you’ve been well! Cheers! :D

  2. It sounded like a wonderful trip home and homecoming, Jess. Sometimes you don’t know how much a place means to you until you’ve been away and you come back. Everyone sounded so happy to see you and you to see them. There is nothing like time with the ones you love and they accept you for you are, and just so happy by your presence :) Hope you get to go home again at some point <3

    • Thanks, Mabel. I intend to go home as often as possible, lol. I feel like there’s a bigger piece here that I didn’t do a good job of getting across… Stay tuned.

      Hope you’ve been well! I haven’t been much on the blogging scene lately. I know I have some catching up to do!

  3. Nothing like home, it gives a sense of who we are where we come from, doesn’t it. Of course, home can be so many different things, but no matter what they are for any person, your describes of coming home contains all what it includes. San Francisco is a beautiful place—albeit not my home. :-)

    • Thanks, Otto! Yes, home truly represents many things. I have called many places home. But I do know home will always be where my family is… and where it’s NOT humid. ;) I appreciate your comment! Hope you’ve been well!

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