I was raised very haphazardly. My family moved from town to town and state to state. It was only many years later, and only after I had been living on my own, that things like hometown pride and local customs made sense to me as more than atavistic concepts. There is a golden glow to being native to something. There is a fragrance to belonging, no matter how sour it seems. Yes there is a good windy pliancy that accompanies children driven by wanderlust but smells and lights don’t stick the same way. Every custom must be learned like a part of a play, rehearsed. Nothing ever comes naturally, nothing except the love of those things that feel like they belong to you. And those rare gifts are difficult to part with.

When I live anywhere, I do not decorate walls. I do not cultivate favorite foods. I do not learn the streets. I have maps to tell me where I am going and I travel light. I love to sing local songs because I love to sing, and I love fraternity and joy, but I must learn them. And if I am too tired to learn them I remain in the shadows and under the blanket of their aroma.

Things do not tempt me. Furniture is ungainly to move, carpets are specious, cars that do more than take me elsewhere are uncouth. And all of these things can be sold, taken and rolled away. It is that which abides inside me that will ever be called my home. I hope in some small way this explains what my longing means. You were the additament to my heart. You moved out and I can’t move away.

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