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17 October 2016

Coming home.

I've been trying to get home for a long time.
The thing is, I seem to have lost track of where 'home' is... or do I mean where it was?
Home wasn't where I'd left it. I even went back and looked at the last place I remember seeing it - it wasn't there, either.

Have you ever gotten lost in the woods? My home used to be a place with woods. When I was a kid I used to go out to "the woodlot" and leave the trail behind. I always thought I'd be able to find my way back using landmarks - this tree that had that funny looking branch, or the rock that was sticking out from under those particular two tufts of ...whatever that plant was. That never worked. What did work was picking a direction and sticking to it. Eventually I would come to the fence that wrapped around two sides of the woods, or the road that bordered another side, or our front pasture on the last side. From there I could find my way back.

That's where I left home: in western New York, on 155 acres of pastures, streams, and woods; with a small herd of horses, some cattle, and a colony of barn cats. I was 17. I was too disillusioned and too self-centered to stay, and the woodlot wasn't enough to distract me anymore.

I led a lot of lives, followed a hundred rabbit trails and noted the passing of at least a dozen landmarks that I'll never see again. Then, when the sun sank and the skies rumbled, I started to look for home. For the last few years, I've been sticking to one direction: up.

I don't know exactly what home will look like when I get there, but I know I've seen the borders. There's my husband and my son wrapping around two sides; there's the road lined with gardens, recipes, paintbrushes, and books; there's the pasture in front, with the horse, saddled and waiting to race me home. 

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