March 21, 2010
Eearliest Memories of Home
There is no place like home, there is no place like home, there is no place like home. In the 1939 film, Wizard of Oz, Dorothy wants a place where there isn't any trouble. What she discovers in her state of unconsciousness, is that there are several key ingredients to happiness and fulfillment in life. At the core of the plot is having a brain, a heart and courage.
The brain is an amazing piece of equipment we have. Without a brain we have no calculations, reasoning, creative thinking or memories. Having a heart means love, caring, compassion. Without a heart, we might as well be mechanical machines carrying out our assigned tasks. And Courage is the ability to overcome our fears. It's a great asset that allows us to step beyond the doors of our safety zones.
Most of us think of home as a safe place. Dorothy was surrounded by family members that loved her and protected her. I know it's not that way for everyone, but maybe there is some place, like a neighborhood, or grandparents home where we do feel connected and safe.
My earliest memories of home are from my pre-elementary school years in a small farming community southern Minnesota, Dexter. It was much like Kansas in the Wizard of Oz. We had a little house there, with backyard and sidewalk in front. I remember playing with friends, our dog, and toys. It was a safe place. I remember laying in front of the garage on a spring day, my face pressed against the concrete to feel the warmth of the sun that had been absorbed into the material.
I remember rocking back and forth on the tongue of the utility trailer my dad used for hauling brush and other things around. I also remember that one of our friends slipped and got caught under the metal tongue of the trailer and broke his arm when it crashed down on him. That was the end with playing on the trailer-turned-seesaw. But even so, it was safe for us, because mom and dad calmly took care of the problem, and us.
During that period of my life I was unaware of the larger world outside of my home and neighborhood. Except for an occasional excursion with mom or dad into town, my life was at home with mom or my friends. It wasn't until I was almost ready to go to Kindergarten that we moved and my world expanded beyond my safe home.
And now looking back on my earliest memories of home I realize that home is a concept as much as it is a place. Home is a place that we try to get back to, where there isn't any trouble. It's a safe place where there are people we love and share memories with. Our courage may allow us to step outside our door, walk down the block, go off to college, visit foreign lands, but there is no place like home.