I have always heard you can never go home again. Well, that’s simply not true, although I do understand the more subtle meaning.
You can always go home in your mind, and in most cases, as long as home is still there, you can even go back physically if you are willing to cope with the inevitable changes you are sure to find. After all, we can’t very well go out into the world to grow and change and expect everything and everyone else to stay the same.
I have lived many places so far with a lot of life still to go, but two places I miss are Alamosa, Colorado, and Columbus, Mississippi. I miss the feeling of driving through La Veta Pass early in the morning or late in the evening, just before dark, towering mountains off to the side, snow-capped if it’s the right time of year. For just a moment when the traffic is light, I feel like I am alone at the very top of the world…and then, as is the case with every other emotional high, I come down into the San Luis Valley.
Waiting for me there is the best breakfast I ever had at Barb’s restaurant, and when I visit next week, I can’t wait to see her new facility—and taste those world-class pancakes. I will drive down Second Street and gaze with some nostalgia at the little house which was briefly our home there, and I will look for the deer running loose in the streets, an aggravation to long-time residents, but something I always found enchanting about the place.
Mostly, waiting for me will be the life-long friends I made there, and I can’t wait to spend time with them.
Similarly, when I visit Columbus, there are more than a few friends to drop in on, and those steaks they serve at J Broussard’s are among the best I ever tasted. What fun to ride along the sleepy streets of the Southside, past the cottage where I met Mother Goose, down by the railroad tracks from which the trains used to awaken me every night.
I know times and circumstances are different. I realize the places don’t live in real-life precisely as they are etched in my memory, but close enough. I passed happy days and nights in both of these special towns, and they remain a part of me.
No matter how content I am in my current life or how poised for the revelations of the future, when I visit the important places of my past there is always a momentary thought of what might have been. It melts quickly, however, into a smile and the full realization that I can always go home again—and my friends will always be glad I came.
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