|I saw this plum tree today and it made my stomach flip over with nostalgia:
The tree stands in my elderly neighbor’s yard, but some of the branches form an umbrella over the side of mine. The plums, for now, are too high to reach. I wanted to grab a ladder and pluck a plum before anyone could see me, but, alas, I restrained myself. Most of them are green, but there was one ruby red one that hung like a plump piece of garnet from its bed of green leaves. I could taste the warm juice on my tongue. My belly ached for my grandmama, who would stand on her old wooden porch to shoo our plum thieves away with her straw broom.
It made me wish life wasn’t so fast.
It made me yearn for screen doors and homemade jelly. Dragonflies and clothes lines. Fig trees and tambourines. Uncles long gone and cousins long grown.
That just-out-of-reach plum made me miss home.
I didn’t think much about my little rural hometown of DeRidder, Louisiana until I left New Orleans and settled in California. From this desert soil, I mentally examined the humid environs of my home state and its effect upon my soul. While I loved the San Gabriel mountains, Mount Wilson, the Pacific Ocean, the sand, the shops and restaurants, the open markets, the endless variety of people and every imaginable thing, California, like the plates under its feet, shifted something inside me, flipped my way of viewing my past, and broadened, deepened, my perspective. I would climb to the top of Griffith Park and really see. Louisiana is no longer a place to run away from; it is the home I return to over and over again in my mind, my heart, my writing, my dreams.
What do you miss most about home?