It was interesting, yesterday, to drive down the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge and experience the deep sense of being at home, really at home there. So many memories of the Gorge: traveling on windy days when the whitecaps on the river were high and the car buffeted about by gusts; buying huge salmon from Indian fishermen, out of the backs of jalopies whose trunks were full of ice and fish; crossing the river from Rufus to Maryhill on a small barge-like ferry open to the elements; seeing the immense sturgeon in the ponds at Bonneville; sitting in my tiny home in Stevenson, looking at a flickering campfire across the river and high on the wooded slope above Cascade Locks; seeing the Indian fishermen on their scaffolding above Celilo Falls and remembering what it looked like before the dams went in.
I have been thinking about where I want to live someday. Wherever it is, I want to feel completely at home there. And yesterday I realized that the Gorge is a place where I feel at home. But much of that is connected to memory and the Gorge is not like it once was, though it is still beautiful.
Where else do I feel at home? What helps me feel at home? What is so loved that it creates that feeling in me? And would I be happy if I moved there, wherever "there" is?
"Home" represents a place of safety and peace. I have it here in my little Whidbey house. I have felt it elsewhere as well. I have always been able to make "a home", wherever I went, but "Home"? "Ultimate Home?" I may always wonder where that is.