This is the title of a song that came out rather recently. It is a fairly jubliant song, I think they are contending that you CAN go home.
The problem sometimes is knowing where home is. I'm writing this because of something of Nemesis's recent posting. She is just saying that after a year in Cache Valley she is not really attached. I can see where she is coming from. It seems like everyone that Plantboy and I met in Texas couldn't believe we didn't want to stay there forever. We just never felt that way, but I saw more than a few bumper stickers proclaiming, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!"
So what makes a person love a place?
Because, unlike Nem, I love Cache Valley. I don't think I could ever live in Utah unless it was in the Valley. (For those of you unfamiliar with the area, in way northern Utah "The Valley" is Cache Valley, not Utah Valley.) I'm not sure why this is. I didn't grow up there, although my parents did. Many of my aunts and uncles and cousins are still in the area. But I don't think that is the real selling point either; there are many things about dealing with extended family that are difficult, although they have been a HUGE help to me in recent weeks, as they are to anyone in need.
I do know this. After 16 months of missionary work in Australia, I came back to a house my parents had only owned for a few months before I left into a ward with about three familiar faces. I was disoriented and confused and lonely. But when we drove through Sardine Canyon and came upon that view (there was less smog then) of the temple and the university in the center of all that beautiful snow just before dropping down into Wellsville, I finally felt home. And I knew that everything would be okay despite the fact that all my friends had graduated, and/or gotten married, and moved on.
To me, Logan is my first kiss. My first love. Tubing down the canal in the summer. Running the River Trail. Hiking to the Wind Caves. Getting caught by the UPS man while making out with Plantboy in the cooler at work. Passing notes during Evolution 560. Classes and professors I'll never forget. Roommates and neighbors who have become lifelong friends. It is where I met my husband. It is where I had my third baby. Canoeing on the Bear River. Cool summer nights watching movies outside with friends. Eating lunch out on the terrace behind the student center. Hockey and basketball games. Crushes. Being a True Aggie three times over. It is where I held three jobs I loved. It is Aggie Ice Cream. Mudding in the canyon just south of Paradise on that PERFECT day. The chair I sat in when the first real inkling of testimony hit me like a ton of bricks. Sledding down Old Main. Shopping for engagement rings. Wildflowers at Tony's Grove. Letters sent to a special address in Canyon Road nearly every month for the past 10 years. Rook and even, dare I say, poker games until four o'clock in the morning. The Old Hogi Yogi on Monday nights. Ultimate frisbee. Crying myself to sleep some nights over lost opportunities. Two fateful phonecalls before spring break of my freshman year. My endowment. My wedding.
As I look over the above list, I begin to realize what it is. This is not just a list of things I did in Logan, these are things that are a part of me. Memories so vivid and important they define me. Yes, I have made memories, wonderful memories, in other places. But my years in Logan were such a formative time that the place is inseperable from my sense of self. I never lived in Cache Valley until I was 18 years old, and I still feel like it is where I grew up.
I hope that each of you who reads this has a place like that. A place that feels like home even when you move so often you begin to wonder if you should just put everything on eBay and start over. No doubt, many of you will respond that, especially after you have kids, home just feels like wherever they are at. I will certainly not argue with that, but I think it is important to have a place that is special too.
So I guess, although my little family will be together in our cozy cottage, in many ways, I feel like I am really leaving home. Again.