Monday, October 10, 2016

Going Home Again.

 “Can you go home again?”

Last year when my sister was dying, I wanted go back to my  hometown,  Springfield, Illinois. I promised her I would revisit our old haunts, recall our shared memories, and think of her.

I drove the once familiar streets of Springfield, Illinois, which now are crammed with the hustle of progress, disguising my route down memory lane.  I cruised and thought about our lives growing up in a small town. Many of our haunts have been torn down, rebuilt or plowed under. But some places remained, places which meant nothing to others but everything to sis and me ––
 The little house we grew up in, with two windows facing the street and a small front porch. In my mind’s eye, I sawmy sister pedaling   her bicycle down the street. My own memories push into my head.  I heard  my first love's  knock on the front door, and like it was yesterday, I feel butterflies in my tummy.

I drove down the streets, still paved with bricks, cemented together by tufts of historical grass, that reach through from the cracks. The red brick roads were  lined by grand old homes whose residents were folks my sis and I had  never known because we lived in that little two windowed house with the tiny front porch. 
  I visited Lake Springfield where we learned to swim early in the mornings --  the water so cold it set our teeth chattering and sent goosebumps up our spine.

I drove through Washington Park in search of the bridle paths, that no longer existed. The trails my best friend and I rode, the trails that our horses knew by heart because every weekend we were cowgirls, wild and free. I  envisioned my sis and me fishing for crawdads in the pond.  My gaze fell to the make out spot where that same boy gave me my first kiss. Butterflies again.

 I found myself wishing those days had not gone by so fast. I missed them terribly and I wanted it all back.

I wanted that little house. I wanted to daydream from the front window and watch the leaves paint a pallet of colors under the maple tree and I wanted to wait for the winter flurries to powder the brown grass with eye-blinking snow as white as  cotton.

I wanted to experience  that boy’s first kiss again, to taste his lips and feel him beside me in the night as we watched the moon rise over the lake. 

I wanted to hold my sister’s hand and fall back into a pile of fresh fallen leaves. I wanted to drink cocoa and shovel snow with her.  I wanted her to tell me I’m doing it all wrong, like sisters do.

 I want it all back.