Saturday, March 07, 2009

"Home, home on the range...

...where the deer and the antelope play." Home on the Range.

I Miss Home.

I miss all my people, and I miss the vistas, and I miss momma coming in to put something in my room while I'm supposed to be working or studying and staying to talk about stuff--it doesn't really matter what. I miss stepping outside and seeing a whole, big, beautiful world around me, just waiting for me to do something with it. I miss knowing who my neighbors are, and knowing that only one block away, there's a friend to grab coffee with, or two blocks down is a house where I'm always welcome, or another block or two beyond that there's a little girl I can play with while I visit with her mommy. 

I miss visiting my friends at the Post Office and hearing them tease me about boys, and asking about my latest adventures. I miss my church, where I know everyone (or almost everyone) and where I can be useful, and where I can learn and study God's word and know that people love me no matter what silly mistakes I make. I miss the ladies who pray for me and love me and tell me I'm special even when I don't believe it. 

I miss the radio stations that mix in mexican songs with the top 40 rock hits, and I miss the Family Life Radio that plays Twila Paris songs from my childhood. I miss the lilac hedge where my cat is buried, and the backyard that is beautiful and grassy because of all our hard work to make it pretty. I miss the front yard that is always under construction, but will be lovely some day. I miss trying to fit all our cars into our driveway. I miss my pretty blue and white room. 

I miss the big blue sky, and the monsoon season, and I miss the dry air, and the smell of the desert. I miss the cottontails and lizards and chipmunks that dodge around everything, and the sparrows and finches that make the new cat cough and spazz. I miss that cat and her funny mood swings, and her spoilt-brat attitude toward life. I miss playing ping-pong with my daddy.

I miss creative projects sitting around only half-finished everywhere at home, always inviting me to sit a while and work on them. I miss all the scope for imagination and the creative inspiration that lurks in and around and through every single thing my mother ever touches. I miss the wisdom from momma and daddy, and the serious conversations we can have. I also miss the silly conversations where we tell stories that make us all laugh and howl so hard we inhale our olives. I miss momma's sweet tea. 

I miss driving in the car with momma to go grocery shopping and eat lunch and the Cowboy's restaurant and go the to the little grocery store that has the best meat, and then onto the Walmart for everything else. I miss our talks. I miss watching a Monk episode--or Remington Steele, or Hamish Macbeth, or Wooster and Jeeves, or MacGyver, or Star Trek--every night before we all go to sleep VERY early. 


I love where I am, don't get me wrong. 

I love the lake, and the people, and the birds and the trees. I am fond of monuments and shopping malls and eateries. I like movies. I even enjoy the thrill of traffic, sometimes. I love the intellectual exercises of daily conversations, and the chapel worship every day, and the opportunities for fun here. I like doing the college "thing" and cooking dinners at off-campus houses, and on snow days, making chocolate chip pancakes. 

I love the odd hours we keep, and the excitement everyone feels as the days get warmer. I love the lectures and the thoughts and even the papers. I love fixing things on maintenance, and working with NHC, and feeding my girls PB&J at midnight when they're starving, or all piling into the car to go to McDonalds and talk about life. I love seeing girls I love get engaged to boys I approve of, and helping to plan their weddings. 

I love seeing so many talented people with a somewhat unified purpose. I love hearing people talk knowledgeably about things that matter, and I love the hour-long debates we casually enter into, leading us to actually think through an assumption. I love knowing what is going on at different levels of society, and trying to compile them into a cohesive whole. 

I enjoy making the dorm room pretty, and keeping the dorm presentable. I enjoy the occasional "scare" where the security guards see a suspicious person and they all mobilize to find out that it was simply a lost tourist, or a kid doing something on a dare, or possibly a legitimate threat, but they take care of it brilliantly. I love watching all the little gears turn in our little society here, inside the bubble, and I love knowing that the annoying things about living on a small campus and going to a small school are only temporary, so that I can laugh at them. 

I love a friend's little sister who simplifies the complex societal issues into a list of "fun people" and "butt-heads." I love treasuring each person as an eternal soul, and tending it as such. I love our nerdy inside jokes that make no sense outside this classical latin-soaked atmosphere, and the history puns some people make, and the group that gets embarrassed at these jokes. I love our traditions, and I love our buildings and our grounds and I love this experience. 

How can you reconcile two worlds, full of things to love, and yet only be able to live in once place? I know what I'll choose, unless something drastic changes my mind, but part of my heart will always be here--though I know a day will come when I'll visit and wonder how I ever lived here, or if it's even the same school. Perhaps it won't be. But in some small way, it will always be mine.

Yes, change is good, and life is short, and all those other things like that. But, dear me, how hard it is to keep perspective when you live amongst all the drama and the future is a big blank question mark with a bill attached. And yet, somewhat exciting too--to know that other people are also asking the same questions and so in that, I'm not alone, yet at the same time, my story is mine, for me alone, and I get to boldly go where no man has gone before. 

This is a mess of thoughts, isn't it? But as I'm supposed to be writing a 20-page paper (due Thursday) my heart was full of these things, and I wanted to get them out before I could think about scenarios and vignettes and research economic implications of various future possibilities. Some papers seem simply superfluous to life, you know? And yet, the intellectual exercise rendered from them is not a waste--thinking about unfamiliar things creates more flexibility, a limber and nimble mind is always useful. (That was me, trying to talk myself into caring about this paper. We'll see if it works. :)

So, here I go!

Isn't it ironic?


MagistraCarminum said...

Sending you hugs from home, and missing you!

Marianne said...

I can remember being in college and feeling exactly the same way. It hit me hardest during one of my finals, and I had the worst time trying to concentrate! Home just seems to beacon, doesn't it?!