I just spent 5 days at my parents place over Christmas.
It's weird ya know.
My mother has lived in the same area for most of her life, save when she spent a year or two in England when my father was stationed over there in the Army.
I am not sure if I feel isolated when I'm down there because of the actual fact that I AM isolated (ha ha just wait there's more) or because of the isolation I put myself into while I was actually growing up there.
Does my body, mind go on auto pilot once I get there?
It seems as I make the three hour trek, the closer I get to my childhood home, the farther away "I" go.
By the time I'm greeted at the door with the usual obligatory hug I'm not sure if I'm anything more than robotic.
I find it interesting though, the outward appearance of the landscape reflects my emotions.
I see no beauty there.
It's the prairie, desolate and wind whipped, speckled with deserted family farms broken and decaying.
You can see for miles.
When I was a small child, either I didn't notice, or it was filled with much more life...
I enjoyed running like a wild child in the groves of our family farm, making paths as I ran barefoot through the trees, hiding in my own little universe. I remember when I had ran the path so many times after a rain that it became hard, and smooth, and felt cool beneath my bare feet.
My sister and I would take our horses and ride through the trees pretending we were lost on a deserted island, or we were Indians, building forts with fallen branches, and building fires and "cooking" with an old discarded can or anything else we could find in the woods.
We lived by a lake and would take our horses swimming, laughing and living and happy in our own make believe world.
I'm not sure when I woke, and it seems my memories become less vivid with each passing year. This alone does not concern me.
I can no longer switch to that girl, running down the damp path in the woods, hair flowing behind, tangles filled with dirt and leaves, pretending --no BELIEVING-- she was on an island, connected wholly to everything around her. Confident in herself, every move made, wide eyed at every new "discovery".
I watch boo play, easily, confidently, without hesitation, enter that land of make-believe.
I have actually sat down to play with her, expecting to cross over to that land just as easily as I did long ago, and found I have somehow, somewhere misplaced that key.
Was there a key?
Was there a door?
I have lost my footing on the path, and it is filled with sharp rocks and twigs that sting as I try to find my way.
All grown up, I am starting to think, to believe that I need to find that key, because that key, that place where I was sure of every move I made, no matter the outcome, is the key to my peace, my happiness, my happily ever after.
I know it's here somewhere.....