I saw a plate on a car from New England today and it got me thinking of my homeland back East, far from me now, where I was grown.....immersed in the traditions of forefathers, ways of thinking things over, now considered stiff and formal.
I've been through changes richly personal in this land of the sand where the sun rules our lives; I entered a metamorphosis of spirit, altered throughout the meandering makeup of my character, and somewhat evolved my bodily appearance as well....I hardly wore hats till I came to live here. I miss my homeland....sweet New England.
I'm remembering the sweet salt smell of the wind off the chilly waves of the Atlantic...a day trip to an island in the harbor-mouth of New England...the taste of clean fresh oysters and the clitter-clack of favorite restaurants.... the feel of the winter, bitter in its cold unfeeling grasp....the sight of the falling of leaves spreading like a quilt lush visions across all the edges and corners of fields and woods; an October warning of the bleakness to come and how deeply our beds will be buried. I miss my homeland....sweet New England.
Springtime would arch its back and emerge from a disappearing mist of ice and snow, thick smelling clothing and slippery careful footsteps while looking down from stiff, unsure legs as I walked....the melting white snow giving way to pavement grass and muddy streets...slow-moving streams of seasonal afterbirth; change was not always pretty but necessary in a land that is known for and thrives on the inevitability of change. I miss my homeland...sweet New England.
There are no window box gardens here and the ever-gasping traffic of the buslines, so much a part of the biology of a city, here seems intrusive, insufficient, dragon-like, an enemy of the air...for back where the sun rises I would embrace and accept it like one tolerates an old, miserable person who smokes cigarettes in your home...stench still evident deep in the night. I miss that homeland...sweet New England.
Here I fight to avoid the heat, and back home I captured it as a vital but expensive friend; the steel pipe-kicking hot steam making its way north three floors; I am mesmerized in the sands by the eternal drone of cooling machines, leaving little time for any real satori....at least the steam pipes banged variety ! Tough old winds howling against the windows screamed in animistic pain while I played with my cats and my colds...I put up with her icy breath and she put up with me! I miss my homeland....sweet New England.
Flying low in my dreams over housetops and small green mountains maybe Maine but probably Vermont, I envision each detail of my life there... every trip through the trees, every windy splash upon a cold rock shore as I sat wondering then where I'd be now. I miss my homeland....sweet New England.
What now stands dominant as a Yankee mom are the calm blue-stone cemeteries so well made back there, where I'd find the stillness, and the quiet geometry of natural beauty, the serene behavior of my departed but ever-present companions...so clean of litter and so safe a place I would dream of my mortality, and my ecstasy at loving life too much....a thousand brown chipmunks flitter my thoughts searching for gems of nourishment to last their little lives...for I had much to spare! I miss my homeland....sweet New England.
I worshipped the emotions of growth and change within me with each new season...my spirit soaring to places of exploration at a change in temperature; a thrill of luscious victory enhanced my whimsical anger when as a child of ten I finally caught the horse in the snow...deep enough to drown the memory of failure...and got him in for the night. I miss that blessed homeland...sweet New England.
Now beneath this vast and obnoxious spotlight where whatever changes that occur are never apparent enough for me, where and how far I wonder can these minute movements take me? The progress of self- discovery is slow here...one must tread the waters of experience to keep the soul alive in the seasons of the spirit; the Motherland my home is a long-lost best friend who will someday write back, existing in the shadow of the setting sun. I miss my homeland...sweet New England.