Being a kid of divorce, I had one childhood split between two often very different worlds. And though each place and my part in it has shaped me in so many different ways, there is one of them that I miss more. My life at my mom’s was my creative and nurturing childhood, and I suppose I don’t yearn for it because it is still there. My Mom is as she has always been, eternally open and perpetually loving, and our house is just the same. The record of our growing is still notched on the door jam and the evidence of us, both old and brand new, is everywhere.
At my Dad’s though, first in the two bedroom trailer that housed us all till I was 15, then in the giant house up on the hill, my childhood and the memories it provokes, aren’t nearly as accessible. When I drive up our dusty road, a sense of nostalgia sweeps over me, carrying me to a place I ache to go again. It is all still there, the foundations of our childhood, but most of the framework has been swept away to make room for the future. It is a place of static but constant change, cars in and out, old buildings torn down and new ones put up; steady evolution. I miss this place more because what I long for, the carefree summer afternoons and hours & days spent wandering the wilds of the Washington woods, is harder and harder for me to conjure up. I still find wisps of it however, when I hug my dad and that always comforting scent of his; sawdust, cigarettes and gasoline, engulfs me. And when the breeze off the lake catches the early leaves of fall in a whirlwind of color & whips my hair up into a tangled mess. But it is those rare days when we are all there and the life & the rhythm that existed, flows back into the place that I cease to miss it, because finally and briefly, what was becomes tangible again, and we are home.