I always think of home as “her.”
A living, breathing entity, sheltering and welcoming: muted light and milky fog carrying remnants of waking wildlife among the dew-soaked grass. The whisper of empty bedding along the river, small-hour chatter over the water, and leaves rippling with song.
She is a coexisting creature, patient and loving. Sometimes, in my imagination, she is slightly exasperated with my ignorance and how modern technology has muted my internal knowledge of her. Yet, she’s gentle hands and soft-voiced. Accepting of the weather, even as it darkens.
She is a provider and a comforter.
I think of her as a woman who’s watched generations pass but finds something to love in each; maybe she even picks favorites from time to time and, oh how I wonder if I am among those favorites. I personify her and I ask: Does she long to write to me the way I write to her? In a way, I suppose she does, leaving little finds to keep or observe or photograph. She lives with healthy amusement, content with small things and constantly finding humor in the fledgling life she guards over. Human, avian, botanical…
She loves all in their youth – in their eagerness and their desire to discover.
Her spine is all the books written and all the hands which have both chiseled her and turned her loose. Her ribs are flooded soil, barren and brown, then a blossom in the sun bravely fighting a new day.
She is persistent. Strong-willed.
She is feathers, fur, and bone. She is birth, seed, and branch. Monarch wing, moss, and scales. Goldenrod, thorns, and rabbit burrows. She is cradling arms, morning greetings, and an evening lullaby. Stoic, serious, and a sentinel.
To love her is to respect her, to admire her, and to honor her. She provides the tangible pride of a legacy to share and learn: a lifetime’s worth of education.
Is she in my bloodstream? My marrow? Does she love me as I love her?
I imagine, under her maternal watch, I am fleeting and burning hot like a struck match. Only for a moment, only for a breath. She cups my laughter between the banks of the river and shivers at my fingers along peeling sycamore bark. She leaves me shells and rock and flower.
Is she proud of me?
Photos taken 3-6-2019 | ©️ Pearl Bayou