I am sitting here digging through my online photos trying to find a certain one. Country Woman contacted me weeks ago and they want to do a feature on my decoupaged cabinets in the kitchen.
I found some photos I want to show you, of a place I truly loved.
Sitting here at my desk, I think I've finally come to the conclusion that my heart is still there. My heart resides in East Texas where the pine trees grow so tall you'd think they scraped the sky.
I've tried to make myself love it here. I've really tried. But my thoughts, my fondest memories; well, they're simply there.
Have you ever felt that way about a place? A place that just wound its way into your heart somehow?
I've only lived in Oklahoma and Texas. I've gone back and forth over the span of my life. Moved back to Oklahoma, then back to Texas, then to different cities in Texas. Central Texas, West Texas...
But I never really felt my heart embrace any other region like it did East Texas.
I can't say exactly what it was there.
I adored my neighbors. I loved the weather. You could garden most of the year.
I started this blog there, April of 2009.
I don't miss some of the awful things that happened there. But awful things happen no matter where you live.
I really thought that when I got here, way over two years ago, I'd settle in. And I'd never want to go back. I really did.
But that didn't happen. No matter how much I've tried to convince myself that one place is just as good as another.
The flowers that I grew there were simply indescribable. Lush and gorgeous beyond belief. I'd never had so much luck with gardening as I did digging in that rich soil.
I loved the little green lizards that drove Charlie Ross near crazy. I loved watching them skitter across the ground and up a fence or tree.
I loved driving out into the countryside with my camera. I was so at peace during those drives. Just heading down a country road and stopping to take photos of cows and horses and wildflowers.
I don't think I've ever felt such genuine peace.
I wish I could have bottled it and brought it here. Then maybe I could have sprinkled that magic around and things would be different somehow.
I do love this little house. But I'd love it a lot more if I could lift it up and take it back there. And settle it among those tall pines.
If I could convince my daughters to go with me, I'd dare them to tell me where the tall pines stopped and the blue skies began.
I don't know quite what to do with this grief I still feel. Over a place I only lived for six years out of my 56 years. You'd think I'd be over it.
But if I'm not over it by now, I really don't think I'm ever going to be. That's a hard pill to swallow, because I just don't know quite how I'd make it happen.
Maybe it isn't just there. Maybe it could be resurrected someplace else. That sense of peace and longing. I like to tell myself that anyway.
But I think what I've finally accepted, sitting here these last hours telling myself to look for old cabinet photos, is that my heart isn't here. It just flat isn't.
And on the cusp of this new year, I think I need to stop trying to make myself believe that it was just a place, among the many places I've resided. Just a step in the journey of my life. A chapter in a book I thought was closed and already put back on the shelf.
I think I finally have to accept that I somehow left my heart there, though I didn't mean to. In a place where the pine cones carpet the ground. And tiny pines spring up all over the place, thick as thieves.
Somehow that chapter in the book of my life isn't quite finished. It keeps calling me to a place I once called home.