Friday Firesmith – Home for the Holidays

friday firesmithWhen the wildfire that was devouring Georgia in 2007 began to creep closely to the little town of Fargo, the Feds told the mayor to issue a mandatory evacuation order. He told them that such an edict might not only be of questionable legal quality, but also there wasn’t anyone who lived in Fargo, or near Fargo, who would have taken any heed to it. These were, and still are, a people who have, with great determination, decided to live as far away from other people as possible and still be in Georgia. Telling them what to do was not going to work, and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work today. No homes were lost in that fire and I’m pretty sure the people there knew more about what fire was going to do than the Feds.

Some people just are not going to leave their homes. The building and the land and the contents therein is the honest measure of their worth in some way, and they’ll ride it out, be it fire or flood, tornado or hurricane. Me? I’d throw those damn dogs in the truck and be gone at the first smell of smoke.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve never had that sense of home that some people, I dare say, most people have. To me, the house I live in is just a house, a place to keep my stuff and a harbor for my pets. The land it sits on is, in point of fact, somewhat sacred to me simply because all of the dogs who have left the house end up in the ground, and as the years go by there are more and more dogs who have been sown back into the earth. The three-hundred-year-old Oak that lives in the corner of the property means more to me than the house and everything inside. I’ve always said I would leave that patch of land if that tree dies.

Perhaps it is because my parents divorced when I was young, and there is no childhood home that I can revisit and feel connected with my past. I feel no more a sense of roots or history when I see the house I lived in when I was young than I would had I visited the Army barracks where I was stored when I was in uniform. I did feel as if I was a trespasser in my own memories when I went back to the old neighborhood once and walked through the woods I played in as a child.

When I hear people say they are going home for the holidays I wonder if they mean they’re returning to some place that they wouldn’t leave for fire or flood, but did leave for a job or to get married. I wonder if there are times they wish they were back there, in some house, in some small town, or if they simply return out of tradition.

One day, I imagine, I’ll stand on the property I’ve lived on for over fifteen years, I’ll look over the woods one last time, and I’ll go somewhere, for some reason, and wherever I find myself and some dogs, I will be home again.

Where is home for you?

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.