I’m heading off to Portland in the morning with the little boy. We’re taking the train south to see the family on this journey which I have taken OH so many times in the past 8 years, (here and here are just a couple). This journey south will be Finn’s 3rd since he was born. Doesn’t it just seem right? I mean, to bring him on this trip that really defines for me the journey ‘home’. To be honest, ‘home’ has always been a funny thing for me. Over my years I have lived in a few different countries, in multitudes of houses, and have purged and re-purged my belongings so many times along the way. And as an adult, (really?) of course I now have a home with Dustin, but the tree outside this home is quite short in the scheme of life and generations and traditions, etc. And with parents who travel for a living, and my insatiable desire for a sense of belonging somewhere, I realized about 10 years ago that I had to find for myself a place where the tree is long and tall with branches stretched out beyond my reach, and roots deep and old that extend far into the earth. A tree with more stories that can be told, with recipes and family bibles, and antique guns, and black and white photos of young people looking serious (but one can imagine how fun they were). And so in my searching I found the tree is growing on the side of a wind-blown hill, well tended by my dear Auntie B, and her long-reaching knowledge of ‘what is’. It’s roots also stretch up the river to Gram’s house which is filled with the relics of bygone generations that were all a part of making our family. It’s all just right.
Although these are not homes I grew up in, this is home for me. So I take the baby to breath these things in, knowing that all of this is much more important to me than it might ever be to him… but that’s just the point of being a parent, I suppose. Me: This is so important! Him: But I just want to play with this stick.
It’s a tiny bit overwhelming to travel with the baby. He has so many more pieces than I ever did when traveling this same route. It used to be an Ipod, snacks and some knitting was all I needed for an 8 hour train ride. Oh an maybe a little Jack Kerouac. But now? Books, toys, food, bottles, milk, diapers, more diapers, car seat, the sling, can I fit the pack n play?, Suitcases 1-3, and can I manage my camera case, too? Oh boy. Oh well. On the other end of the journey is the home of the tree, and it will greet us with branches swaying in the wild winds that blow up the gorge, and I will sit quietly (even just for a moment) and listen to a story or two as I revel in the fact that I am home.
See you soon, tree.
p.s. And I might bake a loaf or two while I’m home, cause that’s just what I do these days.