How Did I Get Here, And Where Is The Next Turn?

Greetings and salutations to all who deem this worthy of your time...

Brought up Apr 7, 2012

"...No Matter Where I Lay My Head..."

When I was in college, I had a room mate who was a big country music fan. For two semesters, we fought over music. Some mornings, she would play the group Alabama, and I would be furious with her. I bitched and moaned about it. The really crazy thing is, I love Alabama. I did then. So why would I make such a fuss? It dawned on me recently that it was because I was homesick for my childhood home. There I was doing what I thought I should be doing: getting an education, making friends, working toward a future that someone convinced me would be ‘just the right thing’ for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my school, my classes, mostly, and the little community that was part of my life then. Yet, a part of me longed for something else, somewhere else.

Last night, as I walked through a park from my childhood, with my oldest and dearest friend, I discovered that I am still homesick. The park is around a tiny pond formed by a spring that gives the park its name. At sunset, fountains are set to music, with lights. It’s one of those things that you just have to see to understand. My friend and I were walking around, taking some pictures with our cell phones, just spending time together, in a place we knew as children. Then the music started. I had never seen the show before, and at first, well, I guess it is a little silly and tacky. As it gets dark, it’s actually sort of cool. Anyway, as we were talking, she suddenly stopped and said, ‘Oh! We didn’t miss it.’ The music started, the fountains shooting into the air, up and down in time with the music. At one point she grinned and said, ‘They’re playing your song.’ Alabama… My Home’s in Alabama… and it was like a kick in the gut.

It all came together in that moment. She was right. It is one of my all time favorite songs. It made me ache to just stay there, not even bother coming home. I want to go back to Alabama to live. I want to go home, damn it! I sit here, in the town of my birth, in the area where most of my family lives… and I weep to go home.

Some of my best and worst memories are from my life in Alabama, and it has been over 30 years since I lived there, but it really is home. I ache to go home. I long for it. I am still homesick. 30+ years, and every time I visit, I don’t want to leave. My son talks of wanting to live in one of the large towns there. Crazy, I know. But, I understand his reasons. He sees it as a chance for a different life. I really don’t care if I live in that town or not. I don’t necessarily want to go back to where I lived as a child, either. I just want to go home. I want to be in the state where I can go out and know where I am, more or less. Heck, I got lost leaving after my visit with my friend, and for once I didn’t freak out. I knew where I was, more or less, and knew that I would find the right streets eventually, and did. As I headed back this way, how ever, my heart was heavy. I didn’t want to be making the drive I was making. I didn’t want to leave. I may live in Tennessee, but, “my home’s in Alabama, no matter where I lay my head…”

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