Home Again

A Scripted Freelance Writer Writing Sample

Wherever the rusty pickup with the camper shell is parked, wherever the tent is pitched. Whenever the swell is good or the powder is fresh. Perhaps that home is a feeling, too, but it's not pecan pie and summertime and nostalgia. Ella Winter said you can't go home again, and she was right. The childhood home is free of bills and taxes and experience. The new home is free of faded fond memories. The wandering heart is a wise heart. It seeks that which can't be found at home, neither the disappointment of expectations nor the realities of keeping a home. There is a purity to moving hearts. They seek the unknown. They find profound joy in someone else's rusted ruins and complicated memories. A crumbled foundation in the remote mountains can become the base camp for an unforgettable weekend. A farmhouse long since left to wilt by its despondent owners can be given new life by wide-eyed seekers. A heart without roots is open to this idea. It is willing to be home wherever it is and able to find joy in the face of diaspora. Perhaps this skill would lead to a lot less disappointment. This is not wanderlust, the overused malapropos that describes listless Millennials hell-bent on avoiding reality by traveling to exotic locales that seem to lack it. Lust is a sin. A heart that seeks new homes is not greedily thirsting for escapism. It does not believe that a change of scenery erases the past. It simply says there are unknowns in the future and it is ready and willing to find them. And perhaps this readiness stems from an understanding of the past, an understanding that its pleasant patina does not accurately reflect the present. What a freeing revelation that is. The heart that is home wherever it is sees things that others can't. It climbs to great heights when it sees something it wants up there. It flips and turns when it so desires. It knows that be still my heart is not a plea for immobility but a search for peace among the distant immutable. When it chases its home to remote unknowns, it is not lonely and rootless, it is full of promise and hope. Perhaps when they say "you can't go home again," much depends on the "again." If you expect home to always remain the same, you will never make it back. But if you have no idea what to expect, you can always go home. Somewhere among the mountains and the ice floes or the prairies and the trees, there is a place devoid of memorable creaking floorboards. It does not hold the empty promise of a snow cone stand long since closed, its owner dead or in hospice. It does not taste like something only one person can make, whose imperfect reality can never compare to its treasured memory. It changes with the seasons, but it does not change at all. There is no "old recipe" or "original location". There just is.

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John M

Austin, Texas, United States •

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