Thursday, May 7, 2015

Word of the Day: Hiraeth

Notes from March 19, 2015 jotted down on my itouch

Sleeping on the train today, I was dreaming of my grandmother's house. I walked the farmhouse floors, I peered out windows, I talked to the trees. And I missed her. 

Further to these notes, and my sense memories re-triggered by the magnolias:

I have to change trains during my commute, and usually try and cat-nap during the 20-25 minutes of the second leg. For some reason, on this trip, I suddenly found myself dreaming of Grandma Ollie's North Carolina farmhouse. From washing my hands in the pink porcelain bathroom sinks, to brushing my hands along the grain of the pinewood hallway walls, to resting my elbows on an open window sill in the blue back bedroom looking out to the crepe myrtle glowing in the bright blue summer skies, and listening to clothes flapping on the laundry line, it felt like I was there and had just decided to wander around on a nostalgia tour. It was like I had just been transported to this place -- and a moment long lost in time. I could feel the breezes moving through the house, bringing with them the smell of crops ripening in the fields. I knew I was alone in the house, but it was as comfortable as it had ever been while I was there, with family visiting just down the road, or out in the fields. It was just so familiar and felt so real.

Given that this was a local train, with stops about every 5-7 minutes, with conductor announcements, flashing lights, and piercing door alarms, I couldn't have been in a dream state for very long. But ... what a dream it was.
I know it was probably just my subconscious processing the word: hireath - a word I didn't know existed until I stumbled across it on Twitter, but I'd like to think it was Grandma checking in. Or maybe it was Grandpa Jack? Maybe both of them? Maybe -- just maybe, one day I'll dream like that again.
 In the meantime, I begin to understand why I received this vision? reverie? visitation? what have you? It was preparation for news to come. And a reminder. This: Our connections to places last long after family ties are severed -- and all will be well. Home places are in our hearts, if not in our portfolios.
Driveway to The Farm house, NC c. 2010

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