Longing for New Albion

Today is the kind of rainy day that makes me remember the home of my soul is the Northwest. It’s gotten less intense in the 8 years I’ve lived in New England, but it used to be going too long without rain created sort of an itch, a discomfort. Now I don’t notice the lack as much, but when a true rain comes, I still feel the relief of the world as it should be.

I’ve started to wonder, really, if we’ll ever return to the place I call home. I haven’t been to the Northwest since a very quick training trip early last spring. I haven’t spent considerable time there since the August before last, when we went hiking and missed the big New England blackout.

I still walk the woods of the Northwest in my mind. I see the bracken fern tall in the bright light against blue skies. In the dark secret parts of the forest, I see the trillian, the vanilla leaf, the sorrel, the salal. In my mind’s eye, I see Northwest horizons — tall mountains that still hold the wildness of a world without us.

But it’s all fading. The lines are not as sharp.

Truly, I envy those of you who live there. I wonder if you see it with the same eyes I do — if you feel the pull of the hills upward and onward. You speak of living there so casually, and I yearn for it. But yet every month I pass here, I put down another root. It would be painful, very painful, to pull up here and leave.

Will it ever happen?

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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