Samain and the Moon of Thanksgiving
Friday gratefuls: Full bellies. Hungry bellies. All alive now as we hurtle towards a New Year, a planet infected with infected people. Perhaps the end of Black Friday. Jon’s good day skiing. Ruth’s steadiness in her weird freshman year of high school. Her wisdom teeth. Going, going. Joe and Seoah. Finished packing yesterday. (or, today, rather.) On the plane then heading for Incheon. Then San Francisco. Then Oahu. New home. Murdoch maybe there by New Year’s. A light snow. Orion further behind Black Mountain. Soon he’ll be in the evening sky. Hunting. Our Town.
Paul gave us home as the theme for the Ancient Ones on Sunday. A favorite thing to think about for me.
Here’s where I started this time:
“REBECCA: I never told you about that letter Jane Crofut got from her minister when she was sick. He wrote Jane a letter and on the envelope the address was like this: Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Grover’s Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America. GEORGE: What’s funny about that? REBECCA: But listen, it’s not finished: the United States of America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God.” Rebecca, Act I, Our Town, Thornton Wilder
From there I wandered to that Greek wanderer, Odysseus. His Penelope weaving during the day and carefully undoing it at night. Her suitors trying to replace him as he journeyed home from Troy. His steadiness of vision. His willingness to overcome all: Sirens, Cyclops, Circe, Scylla and Charybdis. All to get home. And his old dog, Argos. The Heroes journey. From home, through trials, back to home.
Briefly. You Can’t Go Home Again. Thomas Wolfe.
After that. Becoming native to this place. Wes Jackson’s book title, an idea that sums up my religion. How is it we can become native to this place, this Earth? How is it, how did it happen that we became so estranged from our Mother? There is No Planet B. Our home planet, Earth. Third Rock From the Sun.
What is home for the expat? Especially the expat whose life has been lived so far from the place of their birth. Mary and Mark, for example. Voting here. Paying taxes here. But day to day life lived out on the streets of Riyadh or Singapore or Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.
In what way is Oklahoma my home state? Born there. Duncan. Moved to Watonga. Then, before my age 2, on to Indiana. Alexandria. Which I count as my hometown. Is either one still my home? What about Appleton, Wisconsin? St. Paul? Minneapolis? Andover? Shadow Mountain? Or, were any of these ever my home? 40 years in Minnesota.
Is home where you hang your hat? Where your heart is? Where you were born? Is it possible to have a home somewhere you’ve never been? What makes home home? Why did Odysseus struggle and fight to get back to Ithaca? Or was it get back to Penelope? Or, even Argos? Is home a nested idea like the minister’s address to Jane Crofut? Always in increasingly larger contexts?
Where do you call home? How many places do you call home? How about the guy from the House of the Rising Sun? Whose home is suitcase and a trunk?
Could it be that the division in the U.S. right now is over just this question? What do you call home? Is it the land of the free and the brave? The land of the Statue of Liberty? This land, is it our land, or is it a patchwork of ideas too different to reconcile?
Here’s a brief reflection. Colorado is now my home. West my direction. When I’m going West, I’m going home. So many years it was North. When we lived on Edgcumbe Drive in St. Paul, crossing Ford Parkway made my whole being go toward rest and comfort. Hitting Round Lake Boulevard in Andover. Now it’s starting back up the hill, into the mountains. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana. Those are places I’m from. Not sure whether Appleton, Wisconsin was ever home. Indiana, yes. Minnesota, yes for sure.
When did the change happen? When did Colorado become home? I think it was when I stopped wondering if it was home. When I first felt that ease on 285. You know, passing the point where the Dakota Hogback presses westward just beyond Hwy 470. Ah. Headed back into the mountains. Where we live.
So home for me has something to do with ease, with familiarity, with comfort, with a feeling of my place. Not done thinking on this yet. Maybe before Sunday morning. Probably not.