As I See It
As you drive down the long country road, across the red Pennsylvania Dutch covered bridge, into a simple world long past… of historic three-story high masonry homes…
constructed, stone by field stone, all the way up to the rafters….
Small Plebjus Blue, I think
You start thinking of what ‘home’ really means. As of late, surrounded by the nostalgia, I myself started to think.
I think of what was familiar, what was uncomplicated, and what shaped identity. The wildflowers in the fields, the butterflies flying free, the streams running clean. Finding oneself in amongst all that is simple and making sense of all that is complex.
Remembering picking daisies and loving the color yellow. I think of the lush green expanse as far as young eyes could see. Gazing at rolling mountains, walking through dappled forests, and calling to the horses grazing in the pastures.
Tiny ponies with really long silky tails mowing the green grass.
Seeing life pass by without a care.
This is where I grew up during my teens. A property with rolling countryside, a long tree-lined drive, and an old 19th century stone home.
This was not the home my parents lived in (this is the first home as you enter the property), but there were three more very similar up the half mile long plus, private drive. I did not have enough nerve to go into the estate because the road was only wide enough for one car to pass. It would have been very awkward, since the drive is posted to avoid just this occurrence. So I photographed the home at the entrance to the estate.
The hills of Pennsylvania, surrounding country hamlets and bustling towns are literally breathtaking. Places where a cell phone might not connect to the world beyond, even in our tech savvy world today.
Up on Hawk Mountain, Kempton, PA, looking out over the valleys, hillside farms and hamlets of surrounding counties in the far off distance. Can you not feel the bliss in Pennsylvania?
There are places where a trail ride by horse could last all day and you had to be prepared for the long excursion, saddlebag packed with rain gear just in case. I did this quite often, lunch packed and compass in hand. So many trails, you had to have a good sense of direction. Horses always don’t know the way home, much to popular belief!
Where if you kept riding you would be in the next county over. But down in the valley, the farms are plentiful, and the cows content.
I smell both the fresh air after a gentle spring rain and the cows down the road on a hot summer’s day. Oh, the cow smell, one pungent whiff you could hardly forget.
The sweet taste of tiny wild strawberries, you know, the ones that you must eat by the hundreds, and the fragrant smell of Honeysuckle, the nectar we would suck right from the flower; stuff of every kid’s delightful summer.
I remember my favorite soft drink was Mountain Dew and my horse liked it too. Kinda reminds me of a special companion, one I think of often. Horses do that to you.
I recollect the farms that were scattered all around, planted with wheat and corn. We would ride bareback through the wheat fields brushing our hands over the golden flowers of the grain forming stalks. The horses grabbing huge mouthfuls as we go. It was a simple pleasure to man and beast alike.
I recall the new white snow falls around Christmas and the anxious egg hunts at Easter. Holidays were special and made just for kids.
Is this just a product of getting older, or is it just something that happens because one is separated by long distance and time? Is home now defined by relationships rather than place?
I appreciated all the simple things, and how I learned to appreciate nature. To see it with the eye of an artist and the heart of romanticist. To find no words to describe, but see in a way that sees beyond.
Sure this can be done anywhere, but you remember where you learned it first. I was very surprised at all the photos I did not take. I think it was because I was so engrossed in taking it all in, immersing myself in the experience. Thinking back, reminiscing and remembering. Forgetting to grab the moment in time. Maybe because the memory was so strongly imprinted in my mind. The physical photo seemed less a thing of want and need.
Looking at the horse stable and across the field where I lived with my parents, the barns and the other three property houses in the distance, down the very long tree-lined, private drive.
The main thought of home is where you live at the moment. But I think it is far more than that. Home is family and friends – a place that becomes something that you create. It is memories and it is the future.
It is finding your way where ever you may go.
Life was simple and pure. Interesting and insightful.
Seems whoever you ask around the world, the feeling of home is pretty similar. Home is more than just a place to hang the proverbial hat and to catch some shuteye, it is a place of profound meaning. We take pride in, nurture and enjoy the very being of home. I think Dorothy nailed it. There is no place like home, and not just the roof, walls, and windows either.
Next for Sunday… the house and garden I owned before moving to New York. The garden is not as I left it either. Bah humbug.