Adventures In… ch.47
June 11, 2011 § Leave a comment
While others were driving their vehicles through an automatic car wash I was sloshing soapy rags over my Isuzu and wishing I had worn my plaid rain boots instead of my “Jesus” sandals. While I was trying to scrub off the dirt the clouds above were trying to rain. I spent the majority of my time scrubbing thinking back to when I was a little Midwestern girl helping my uncles wash their trucks in my grandparents’ yard. I thought back to how big their trucks seemed, still remembering the exact smell of the soapy bucket and rags, still remembering how the warm sun felt. Maybe I had only helped them wash their trucks once, maybe it was just one uncle and one truck, or maybe it was something I did every time I visited my grandma – that much I cannot recall. I have very few childhood memories, but somehow this is one that has stayed with me throughout the years.
Halfway through washing my Isuzu, my legs covered in dirt from the heavy hose, I started to wish for the rain. Instead, only sweat dripped down the sides of my face as I washed, rinsed, and repeated until my white vehicle was actually white again. When it was all said and done I felt not only a strong sense of accomplishment but also a reconnection to my childhood. It was as if I had looked at a cherished family photo and felt connected despite the far distance that currently separated us.
It is this connection, this grounding, that keeps me steady in uncertain times. I recently read somewhere “Nothing connects you to who you are quite like the people who knew you when.” For me my family, my hometown, the few childhood memories, and all of the inside jokes that my well humored family share are what I cherish the most in life. I have lived in the south, I have lived in the big city, and now reside on the West coast, but it is the smell of the fresh air back home, the roaring lake, the way the fire crackles in my parents’ woodstove that make me feel balanced. This morning, while sipping coffee and eating giant cinnamon rolls in an old building downtown, I and my sister shared carefree conversation. Neither of us needed to finish our sentences or dive into side notes of explanation of what happened back then to make us react the way we do now. Despite our age difference and that one decade I spent in rebellion, we are knit together so tightly I feel at home whenever I am with her.
I am currently being inspired by other cultures and the beauty of foreign lands. This morning I spent some time grazing over a magazine full of pictures and articles on Ireland. I have been listening to a Norwegian rock band so much in the last few weeks that my Pandora has caught on and started advertising Rosetta Stone in between songs. My savings is starting to grow with money that whispers of a trip to Greece or France. And in the midst of all of this foreign inspiration I am finding a deep root connecting me to my family. In all of the uncertainties of adulthood my childhood memories, and the people in them, are helping me stay true to my identity. No matter how far I roam I will never be able to wander from home.