Saturday, September 27, 2008


By Karla Bonoff

Traveling at night, the headlights were bright and we'd been up many an hour
and all through my brain came the refrain of home and it's warming fire.
Home sings me of sweet things, my life there has it's own wings to fly over the mountain,
though I'm standing still.
Traveling at night, the headlights were bright, but soon the sun came through the trees. 
Around the next bend the flowers will send the sweet scent of home in the breeze.

Today was the Iowa Homecoming game vs. Northwestern here in Iowa City.  It didn't turn out like we would have liked, Iowa lost 22-17, but it got me thinking about the word 'homecoming'.  I remember when I first left home to come to school here.  I was so homesick at first, I missed my family so much.  I'm lucky to be part of a really close family.  We don't always agree, and sometimes we bicker, but we will always be family.  As time went on, I still missed them, but I began to feel like I belonged here.  I laugh now, about how young and naive I was and how cool I thought I was to be in school here.  I remember, many years later, when I realized that when I talked about going home, I wasn't talking about Mom and Dad's house anymore.  I don't know exactly when it happened, it was probably a gradual thing.  What I do know is that it made me profoundly sad, like I'd lost something that I'd never get back.  Do you remember when this happened to you, or hasn't it yet?  
I grew up in such an idyllic way that I think is largely a thing of the past now.  We grew up out in the country, in an old farm house with miles of corn fields to lose ourselves in and a creek to build dams in and even an old abandoned haunted house down the road to explore, even though we weren't supposed to!  We were free in a way that I suspect most kids today cannot be with the way the world is.  I loved the seemingly endless days of summer, when the our adventures where limited only by our imaginations.  My parents moved to town a few years ago and I'll never again wake up in that old house, but the memory of it is as clear as if I were there now.  
I've lived in other places and I probably will again, but maybe you really can go home again, at least in our memories.


Jeanne Craine said...

Beautifully said, Cris. I also grew up on a farm and the creek was such a wonderful place were I also built dams of all kinds---isn't that funny that we both loved that? In the winter it supplied a wonderland to enjoy and a place to ice skate. I imagined so many great adventures down there by that creek with every season--it was always changing--a fun place to spend time and dream. My creek had a certain place where there was clay and I made all kinds of bowls-but I was always disappointed when they dried and cracked! But I still made them anyway because the idea of clay being right there at fingertips was so neat...

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