On each side of a journal page, I noted two opposite and complementary wise observations by a woman I stayed with five days in Switzerland.
The more of the world you see, the more you want to see.
The more you travel, the more you love and appreciate home.
This week I will be going home. I don’t live there anymore and likely never will again, but it will never not be home (no matter how much I make the effort to refer to it as “my parents’ house” in conversation). Maybe because I sock-skated on the newly finished hardwood floor in the living room. Or because I can remember falling down the wood stairs that led to the second floor but are now installed between the basement and ground level. Because we found stamps from the early 20th century between the walls when the paneling was being replaced with sheet rock.
In two weekends I will go to the ocean. It calls to me, and sometimes I see it reflected in the clouds above Puget Sound.
I once thought to write a collection of essays on place. The motivation fizzled once the class ended, but the need is still there.
I tried to think of an analogy for that need. A five year old holding the secret of her mother’s surprise birthday party. The difficulty of translating a word into image while playing pictionary. Neither captures it.
Perhaps what compels me to write and prevents me from writing about place comes from the same spot as the need to both travel and return to my roots.