When one mentions the word "home" a person generally thinks of the place where they lay their head at night. A place that contains ones things; a place of current residence perhaps.
When I think of the word home, I associate it with the place of my roots; Eastern Kentucky. A place where people know everything about you. A place where you are known as some one's daughter or granddaughter, not by your own name. A place where your word is as good as a written contract. A place where people pray for one another, whether they know you or not. I am so very proud to be from Eastern Kentucky.
With that being said, in two weeks, I will make a trek back to my place of birth. I will venture back into the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. While it has been some time since I have spent any real time back home, this trip will be a short one, so as I can help in celebrating my great aunt's birthday.
I remember so very well, when I was a child, I hated the mountains. I felt as though they held me in, blocking me from the outside word. And as a child, I couldn't wait to get away from their hold. As I grew older, I learned to love the mountains and what they stood for. As if they protected me from the outside world. Shielding me from the wars that raged on the "other side". When I became an adult, I cherished the mountains. However, I knew I no longer belonged there. I yearned to be elsewhere. I needed to get away, for myself.
It has been more than ten years since I left the safety of my Eastern Kentucky mountains. In that time, I have been exposed to and witnessed exactly what it was that those mountains kept me from. While I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to see things of this world that weren't available there, there are so many more that I wish that I had not. There are times when I long for my mountains. I long to see the fog rise in the early morning, hovering just below the peaks of the mountains, as though they are halos. I miss the smells of spring and the sounds of the crickets in the summer. I miss the simpleness of home that I took for granted when I was there.
For me, it is as though when I left, I made my choice. I know that I will never be able to go back to the place that will always be my home. I will never be able to live the life that I once hated. Not because I can't, but because it simply doesn't exist there anymore. The simple way that I looked at the world, is no longer. Life is tough, regardless of where you live.
While I am home, I will savor my time of protection amongst the mountains. I will breath deep the mountain air. I will slow my pace to savor and appreciate all that the mountains have to offer. Knowing that some day, when my body is tired and my soul is ready for eternal rest, that I will be able to lay once again in my mountains.