Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Long Way From Home

Not giving up on 30 Days Hath November.  Not, not, NOT giving up.  But now that my last exam before Thanksgiving break is over, and my brain can start oozing out of my ear canals a bit more, I feel like I can catch up.  Prepare yourselves, people.

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There is a familiarity to my hometown that I feel is etched into my bones, even from hundreds of miles away.  My parents don't live there anymore, but I will still periodically drive through it, either for fun, or if I'm on my way to see my one remaining friend from my days there.  The shops change a bit, the roads might be repaved, but it's like running my hand up the same bannister to the same staircase that I've been climbing my entire life.  You anticipate the slightest groove or bump, but think nothing of it.
I know what the swings feel like in the playground outside the now closed elementary school where my two best friends and I used to go and swing under the light of the moon, late on weekday nights when we should have been asleep.
I know where the road dips and turns on the ramp up to the one lane bridge over the Erie canal that I had to cross to get into town or to get home.
I know how heavy the side door is to the Catholic church I attended for more than a decade.  And the faint smell of incense and candle smoke that fills the air inside is so familiar that it could make me cry if I let it.

The people in my hometown refuse to be reduced to some simplistic version of small-town folk that the world might want them to be.  Indeed, it took me years to stop reflexively criticizing or making fun of my hometown because of its arbitrarily small population size.  Small does not mean stupid.  Few does not mean powerless.  And I am forever grateful for the help and love that my neighbors, friends' parents, teachers, coworkers, bosses, and long lost friends surrounded me by while I was growing up there.  

They helped make me into the person I am today.

30 Days Hath November
Day 01: A place I'd like to travel.
Day 02: A favourite movie.
Day 03: Something I never leave the house without.
Day 04: A friend I adore.
Day 05: My hometown.

1 comment:

Allison the Meep said...

Small towns are so awesome, and the older I get, the more I really appreciate the simplicity of a small community and the choice and effort made to live in one.