the taste of blood, the claim of love

by

I kind of have a strange and specific affection for every season truth be told, but summer is just wholly and absolutely good so I might say it's my favorite. Maybe. Kind of. Probably. I don't know, don't hold me to that okay.



Growing up in Louisanna meant it was horrifically hot and humid and as a little girl I half dreaded it but the older I got the more I appreciated this kind of suffocating warmth. I'd eventually come to even embrace it in my later teens. Laying in my backyard reading a book (that was typically waaaaay past due at the library because I'm a fiend) until I was just sweat and freckles. It also rains a lot in the summers there which meant days and days of the sound of storms, sleep infused afternoons, and being thankful for a screened in porch to lounge on. Since moving to Memphis I can happily say it doesn't rain nearly as much, but there also isn't a Plum street snowball stand so either way I lose y'know...



So far this summer when I'm not concocting crazy ice cream flavors (like PEACH+GRANNY SMITH APPLE or banana and BLUEBERRY CARAMEL or MINT RASPBERRY i'm wild right) to make or bike riding in the incredibly dry heat of Memphis, I'm thinking about the idea of home. I guess I've been writing about home a lot lately and I feel like I keep missing the mark, like I can't ever say the things I feel burning up about it.I think I can honestly say that I spent my entire conscious life dreaming up the kind of home I was going to build for myself. Hell, in high school I always used the future as a way to escape the present. And as lucky as I feel, some of the things I learned in the process were kind of traumatic. It's just that no one tells you that when you finally leave, when you finally hit the ground running, you spend just as much time looking back. Subconsciously tucking pieces of your past into your present, gathering new things that remind you of old things, always looking for something to give you even a glimpse of the kind of feelings you had when you were young and unweathered in your dreamy unknowing. And I am so happy now, I reflect on the years before and the experiences that happily and sometimes accidentally gathered in the great dark corners of my life to bring me here and I am grateful. 


Things like sharing secrets in the back seat of Kayla's car. I think of eating fast food on that curb somewhere in Los Angelos with Emmanuel and Warren. I think about those warm wine skys of evening in Mississippi. Sleeping in Jenna's lap in Oregon. I hear her whispering silly stories and  things to me so vividly like if I just close my eyes I'm back in her old twin bed. Dylan in boot camp, hearing his voice grow darker and somehow softer through the weeks, getting his letter and crying openly in my car parked in the drive way - how right in the middle of the melt down I just started laughing because, my God, how could anything be so beautiful? Laying on the hood of Warrens car while me and the boys stared at the stars over Arizona. The smiling faces of strangers in New Orleans, the balconies with the flowers, the sound of music pouring in through careful crevices like french windows into your soul. How wonderful and right it is that these are the things that shaped me. That brought me to this tiny home with my husband who was once just a boy that I was telling everyone was going to be mine, "Just wait you guys, just wait you'll see." How today I made chocolate chip pancakes from scratch and danced in my kitchen to Led Zeppelin and hung up a beautiful checkered blue apron that was my great great grandmothers.

And I am so happy to be here, so happy that all of this is mine. Sometimes I think I could cry just thinking about it. But other times I think I could cry thinking about my parents home, the summer storms I watched from the side porch, and all of those things I let go of just a little too carelessly when the time had finally come. Because I didn't know that once the moment passed it would mean I could never have those things the same way. Because I thought that the life I knew was just some gentle and subdued version of the one I was ready to live. and maybe it was. Maybe there really is no way around it. But nothing prepares you for the realization that all the things you had when you were young - the moment you leave is the moment they change forever. Instead of moments brimming with knee-jerk comfort they suddenly become bread crumbs. small and incoherent memories trailing their way back to where this all started for you.

I don't know - what is home for you?