Most of my vivid memories as a young girl were around our club pool and golf course (you would have thought growing up on a course I would have played, but I kept waiting for osmosis to set in and it was a true disappointment). That water holds some of the best memories of my whole life. When we (our little gang that ate doritos on pizza) were old enough to be there alone we believed that we owned the place. Little snots I guess. Seeing as for most of my life it was in my backyard, I could go over there whenever I chose to. (SIDE NOTE: Do you not think my parents were brilliant? Best babysitter in the world! Slightly dangerous as teens...but we made it through.) A few of my friends, cousins, and I pushed the envelope a little bit. We never ‘really’ broke any CLUB rules (parental charging rules were a different story) but there were times that we didn’t exactly abide by them. My dad, being a golfer, was rather strict with golf etiquette. For example, kids in swimsuits should NEVER...EVER… be on the golf course, and no noise (this is a problem when your backyard is basically on a tee...) So, I guess we did break some rules. (I smile.) Any how, even though there was a snack shop right on the corner, and we had to walk by it to break said rule, we would sneak out to the 6th tee to ‘steal’ water. In my head it felt like we crossed the ocean to get over there without getting caught in our suits, but it was like 20 yards or less. REBELS. We seriously had the best time. It was home. This image hangs in my mind like a beautiful picture on my wall.
I still to this day, way too many years later, can’t walk around that corner, and see that pool without a memory flashing through my head. Those memories made me, and have been a factor in making my kids too. Life is a forward journey, but my own kids swam in that pool solely because of the memories that were created within me from that place. I wanted them to breathe that air, play 10 square in that pool, and jump off of that board. Maybe in a larger way than I like to admit, I wanted to give them some of me. A bit of our history, if you will. I wanted them to find the happiness that I found there. Their lives will look differently than mine but I wanted the commonalities of our journey’s to be part of what always leads them back home.
So I heard Kenny Chesney’s song ‘I Go Back” yesterday and I thought about life in general. Nothing like a good song to really hit home.
My favorite verse:
I go back to the smell of an old gym floor
And the taste of salt on the Carolina shore
After graduation and drinkin' goodbye to friends
And I go back to watchin summer fade to fall
Growin' up too fast and I do recall
Wishin' time would stop right in its tracks
Every time I hear that song, I go back, I go back
It’s not about living in your past nor is it about not loving your present. It’s about recognizing your roots and allowing them to continue to feed the leaves in your life. Think about it. Do you go to the same restaurants regularly? Vacation in the same place? Shop at the same stores? Jon and I love to try new places, but we have definite favorites because our hearts appreciate the authenticity and goodness of what we already know. You go back because your experiences and memories were so good there you are led to that place again. You know the way, so to speak. This exact notion is why I share what I love with people. If it positively impacted me, I want to share it with you. I want your experience to be even better than mine was! Our hearts remember a good thing…and they want more of it.
I’m going back, soon, to a place that I love. I truly want to see the world, but I’m led back to my simple place because when I walk up those steps that lead me to that street, my heart knows the path. It remembers the peace that I feel when I’m there. It recalls the memories that have been made in this place and the people that I’ve shared them with. My olfactory system is lit on fire by the familiarity of the aromas that waft passed me….and in some deep place in my heart... I’m home.
My sweet friend recently said to me, “When I reconnected with my old college roomate, my heart immediately knew what to do. It was as if no time had passed, it knew it's way back.” It was home. I could relate to her so much. Her story is much like my own because although we always want to be moving forward, and new memories and beautiful new people are a true gift, for most of us, our hearts always know their way back to who and what made us. I go back because my heart leads me, most of the time more than my brain does. I go back because it means something. I go back because my present will soon be my past and all of it is mine. I go back because I believe that our life’s journey isn’t in a line or even always a full circle but it’s in a messy pattern of interwoven people and memories that make up a perfect picture. I go back because my heart knows it’s way home.