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Thursday
Jan092014

Ten on Ten: Restart, Home

Looking back at it now, I can see I am a child of deep woods.  I was too little to notice then.  I saw the red clay earth under my fingernails, of course.  Heard the hot percussion of rain falling on the tin roof of the cabin my dad built, the urgent burbling of the creek that ran behind his house after the rain, and the crunching of leaves under my feet in autumn as I beat a path - back and forth through the woods, a million times a week - to my best friend's house.  I saw trees, trees, trees, a dense verticality between me and the world.

I wanted out.  I wanted city, and things to do, and sidewalks, and drywall, and next-door neighbors.

Now when I go back I see the forest.  It takes my breath away.

We were there over the holidays.  When I go home now, I ache for the woods.  I want to walk in them and notice everything.  They feel exactly the same, and also nothing like I remember.  I notice how brutal and delicate they are, how rich.  Life grows over life here, fallen trees slowly eaten by water and moss and vines.  The carpet of leaves shed by innumerable deciduous trees are a wet mulch on winter ground.  I am always surprised at the feelings that rise in me, a tender loving familiarity. 

Ezra loves it there.  Being with his grandparents is a big draw, of course, but he resonates with quiet, and space, and sticks and rocks and running water.

(Twice this week he has told me he wants to live back there, and I have to laugh at the inevitability of running from a place only to have your child long to return.  It is the migrant's tale, no?)

I might be tempted to relegate this all to the closet of sentimentality, but when I was home I ran into a childhood friend named Sampson Starkweather.  He's a poet based in Brooklyn now, but his sharp memory of what seems like every detail of coming-of-age and the deep sense of place in many of his poems confirms for me the power of these woods.  In his brilliant new book he writes:

I know you need the city but we all have our forests.

A place for things to grow or fail... to go unnoticed.

A place for things to fall.  I am speaking of the heart.

Like Ezra, I apparently resonate with sticks and rocks and running water.  But I also resonate with the idea that perspectives change.  That we can restart our relationship with a world, a person, life. 

I love my adopted home of Colorado, the wide horizon, the enormous sky, the dry air, the family I've built.  And I know that no matter where I go, these woods are imprinted on my bones.  I'm not running from that anymore.

My little photography blog circle is examining the idea of "restart" this month in our 10 on 10.  I can't wait to see how the lovely and talented Tara Romasanta is restarting in this new year.  Hop on over here to see what beauty she has in store.

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Reader Comments (9)

Beautiful. I love seeing where you are from. I love that poem your friend wrote. I adore the tree photo with the luscious bokeh. And I'm so happy to drink in your words. xo

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan @ Life Refocused

Tell Ezra: no snow here. no big slippery hills to point skiis down. but lots of heart here for him...to which he has abundant access, genetic and otherwise.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBaba

This was beautiful Corrina. What a lovely look into your heart. Thank you for sharing.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteramy

Beautiful adventures of your hearts.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertara romasanta

Lovely, lovely writing and photographs. Makes me appreciate where I live all the more, albeit not the extra steamy summer days (simply steamy ones are ok) and all the ticks that crawled here twenty or so years ago. There is still a lot of magic here.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarcia

I loved this gem ... "a dense verticality between me and the world" you are tall like the trees, surpassing its reach into the ever expanding and infinite cosmos. Run with the wind child!

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

Corinna, your words are so beautiful - I loved this especially "But I also resonate with the idea that perspectives change. That we can restart our relationship with a world, a person, life. "
The pictures of the woods are breathtaking xxx

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTamar

I read your post yesterday and I woke up thinking about it. That's what you do. Your words, your photographs - everything is so strong. I long for it all to continue...in a novel. No pressure:) I just want to keeping reading. It's your gift. xo

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCherish

Gorgeous. And I so understand. I live in the east of the Netherlands, between forests and creeks and lots of farm land. I love it here. I do like the sea though and many of my friends, who live in the west of the Netherlands, live there, so we visit regularly. The wide open landscapes, with the salty air, that makes every breath feel crisp and new. It's beautiful and I love spending time there. But in the end, I always want to go back here, to the east, to my forests and the green surroundings. This is where I am rooted, in a way. I never expected that, when I fled this place when I went to college, I always said I would never come back. But here I am. And I think this is where I'll stay...

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKarin

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