homeward bound

It’s a lovely sunny day, and our family is on the Interstate headed to upper east Tennessee, the place where I grew up. Since we are in my sister’s car, voices of Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson take turn blaring loudly as I stare out the window like a curious dog. All around are just trees, rows of wildflowers, and occasional small towns – okay, nothing exists. Well, and cows. Hard to think that much of this Japanese family’s life was spent in the cradle of this mass forestry. This “nothing” strangely feels like home as we pass by tree after tree intersperced with McDonald’s and horses. Even I can acknowledge it’s a lovely day.

For a moment, it felt like there wasn’t a reminder of anything that was really going on with our family, like about Mom’s lingering illness, or mine, for that matter. Silos and barns are now in sight. Every shade of green also appears, a Pantone paradise on a skyline pallette.

We are now driving closer to my hometown.  It does strike me, how did we end up growing up  in a place like this? In such a bucolic area, how did I become so depressed and suicidal? All around the drive seemed locked in some time capsule. It felt kind of good to be in it myself, too, but one can only be in that moment for a second. The bubble bursts quickly, and I realize, my, how time has passed and I’ve changed.

There, I now see a church with a giant “Jesus” sign draped on their building. Ah. Welcome home.


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