Saturday, December 4, 2010


" How is it we find our homes, that sometimes these are the places we are born to and at other times we need to search them out?  How many times have I heard Alaskans say that when they first came to this state (or that mountain-rimmed town or that tucked-away rocky cove) they had the overwhelming sense that they had at last found their home?  I suppose people say this elsewhere, too, perhaps everywhere, though I have a hard time imagining a person entering an eastern city and making this claim with the same heartfelt enthusiasm.
     To me, this sense of homecoming has to do with making very elemental connections, with responding through our senses to something we realize on a visceral level- perhaps only from deep within our DNA.  We come from somewhere else, but we recognize from some remote human memory, by that condition evolutionary biologists have come to call biophilia, the smell of budding cottonwood, the purple brilliance of firewood fields, the snorting of  bears, even the deep silences and the dark of moonless nights:  the constellation of sensory impressions that defines our true home.  We recognize it and we want it - we need it. We need it more than we need what we're born to, the familiar, family.  We may love our people, but we can't stay with them, not in a place that does not touch us on a deep enough level."
     -Nancy Lord  Fish Camp, Life on an Alaskan Shore

I read that last night, just before sleep, and all I could do was breathe an "Amen"  into the darkness as I gratefully closed my eyes. Someone understands, someone more talented than I put beautiful words to my deepest feelings, words that I wish were my own. They're not, but I own the feelings. Those feelings above, those words about Alaska, about home, are MY deepest, most intimate, feelings. Someday.Last night, and every night from now on, I can sleep, knowing someone, somewhere, understands exactly how I feel.
Whereever you are at this time, in this season, I hope you are home. Truly home. And if, like me, you're not, yet, I hope you can make the best of where you are, until you can go home. And I hope home finds you soon. I know where mine is. I'm ok that I can't be there yet, but it waits for me. I know it does. ALaska, I'll be home soon. Please wait for me. Thanks.


Leigh said...

You are right! That is beautiful! And I loved reading how you also connected to her writing.

Peruby said...

Celtic women was on again last night! I switched back and forth between them and the Steelers game. My daughter's boyfriend was like "What the heck? Football to Celtic music? And back again?" Yeah, baby!

Jennifer Montero said...

I'm not home yet, but I'm making the best of where I am now. And it's nice to know where my home is, I know where I belong when I can get back there.

And thanks for yet another great book idea!