My Dad’s house, the only remaining corner of the old farm, served as a focal point for my recent impromptu road trip. I can’t call it my house – I kicked up dust trails, screeching tires as I bolted 36 years ago, Nary a glance in the rear view mirror – no thoughts other than to escape a perceived rural prison.
Hitting the freeway out of Vancouver, traveling the 100 miles or so to Hope and the point at which rain forest, farmland and open space gives way to sharp ribbons of mountain highway – the only change in perception is one of feeling my trip has begun. Familiar surroundings still void of emotional attachment. I know what’s coming, understand precisely which bend in the road will ignite inexplicable memories – yet find myself awestruck each and every time. It begins to simmer at Princeton, by the time I reach Keremeos I’m hopelessly lost in another time and place. It isn’t regret or longing, rather an appreciation for the place I came from.
In no particular order, some images of “home”…..
The place I was raised will never be home again. I can’t “wish back” sprawling acres of fruit orchard we inhabited by telling all the vineyards to go away. It serves no purpose to boo-hoo our baseball diamond – now a parking lot for wine tours or whine because our long driveway now leads to many houses. Beneath the surface I can still make out dirt roads once traveled by our tractor, the “cactus hill” in the middle of my old stomping ground may have a strange home perched on top, yet cactus still bloom and remnants of our old forts still litter the periphery.
What I can do is embark on a road trip – a restorative reminder, not of a physical home but the home that shaped me. A home of sagebrush, rolling hills, clay cliffs, wildflowers and wooden structures. These photographs aren’t impressive, particularly well composed or artistic. What they are is “home” – images that mean something to me.