Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Trace of Home

This weekend my beloved and I got to go for a ride by ourselves. We left Brandon, aimed for the reservoir, and headed down the Trace.

The Natchez Trace, as it runs beside the reservoir, has been a sign of "home" to me since I was in college. Once we could see the water, I was home. It didn't matter that it would still be 40 minutes or so until we pulled into my driveway. That was over 25 years ago, and yet the feeling was the same this Sunday morning. I remembered that I had written a verse about it on a vacation trip home, when we lived in Virginia. I went looking for it this morning and had just about given up. Then right in front of me, exactly where I stopped scrolling through an old journal and was about to close the file, these words caught my eye: "Trace of Home. A drive beside the reservoir on the Natchez Trace on a bright and beautiful summer morning." That was it. I wrote this on September 5, 1984.

Trace of Home

No words will come to this sojourner's mind
that say what wants to be said
of acres and acres of mirror water
and diamond reflections of sunlight stars;
of cool quiet green and secret sunbeams
on mighty oak and slender pine.

I close my eyes and long for this place
though I have not yet left its loving embrace.

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