Today, I am missing home. Something about fall always makes me lonesome for my roots. I miss feeling the brisk early-autumn wind and knowing that the leaves will start their last dance soon. I miss being a little cold as I step outside in my sweater and boots. I miss actually needing a coat before my birthday. I miss the smell of fall in a place that has an abundance of trees, how it smells like wood smoke and decomposing leaves and cold, with just the teeniest hint of cinnamon. I miss the way autumn sunsets are crisp and clear and always arrayed in fiery oranges to match the leaves. I miss my mama’s pumpkin roll and strolling with my father through the evening mist, my small, cold hand enveloped in his large, always-warm one. I miss Big Ten football. I love my California life, but some days I just miss my home-home. I miss my Ohio.
But if I scrunch my eyes closed in just the right way, I can hear the geese as they fly South, I can smell the cold as it creeps under the door frame, I can see my dad mowing the lawn one last time through my bedroom window, and even from three-thousand miles away, I feel the peace of home wash over my bones. I wrote this little something that follows while I was home this summer, when I didn’t have to imagine.
The earth I tread is called “Ohio.”
I don’t know what God calls it, except for maybe “mine.”
I called it home once, and now I
walk here with a happy heart and muddy shoes-
a familiar visitor passing a night in the spare room
of a house I sold to finance my adventures.
I have learned a truth that cannot be told, only
tripped upon and thus found: You cannot know the worth of Ohio until
you have traded her for magic beans and found
them unable to deliver any fancy equal to their price.
The adage is true: home is never the same once your dig
up your roots. The earth I tread
is called “Ohio.”
I do not know what God calls it,
but I pronounce it blessed.