On the wall in my Teardrop hangs a note card with a simple, lovely line drawing of a barn, a field and a fence entitled, “Where We Love Is Home”. I bought the card in Moab, Utah, but the scene reminds me of where I grew up: Strasburg, Pennsylvania, the heart of Amish Country.
Somebody asked me recently if I ever get homesick and I honestly replied no. Living on the road, waking up in a new place just about everyday, I make a conscious effort to enjoy where I am and not to pine for elsewhere. In part, the note card is there to remind me that if I find something to love about every place I go, I will always be Home.
I do occasionally feel very far from the places and people I know and love. Last week I spent five days out of touch – no cell service, no wifi – and when I resurfaced, I was glad to hear familiar voices on the other end of the line. A few days later, driving the Alaskan Highway between Fort Saint John and Dawson Creek, I took a graveled side road off the highway, in search of free camping, and drove right down nostalgia lane.
With its rolling hills, long vistas and endless fields, the farmlands west of the highway looked so much like Strasburg that I half expected to see a straw-hatted Amishman plowing with a team of mules. Turning off the gravel road, onto a dirt side road, I parked at the end, next to a John Deere tractor, and set off on foot across the fields.
I grew up walking along the edges of fields, on old wagon paths that border planted rows, following ruts as old and deep as agriculture. Fields are where I first learned to explore, where I learned to pay attention to the smell of wildflowers, grass and earth, the sound of wind, honeybees and birds, the feel of long dewey grass running across my fingertips.
Plucking a strand of British Columbian grass, putting it between my teeth, the taste is familiar too. I love this field. I am 3,000 miles from Strasburg, but I am Home.