I wonder sometimes, what my children will remember when they are grown and living lives of their own with families of their own. What will remind them of home? What will call to them, pull at their hearts? What smells, what sounds, what images?
Will they think of the smell of these wooden walls, the logs that give off an almost fresh-cut pine odor when we walk in after being away? The scent of galax in the deep woods where we go hiking? The sound of mountain streams, or of coyotes yipping late in the night? The way the sun rises over the mountain and floods our living room with light? The way the full moon illuminates the field? Fireflies in the trees?
Will it be the curve of the road, the red barn falling down on the edge of the corn field, the big white house and the black barns?
Looking for trillium and trout lily with Mama by the branch on our neighbor's lot? Finding a strong vine to swing on, the feel of it in their hands? Hours playing on the porch? The birds at our feeder, thumbing through the guide books to find their names?
Digging in the garden? Riding in the wheelbarrow as they help Grandpa in the yard? The fresh taste of broccoli, peas, radishes, straight from the soil, wiped on jeans, then popped in the mouth? Kitchen herbs from pots on the porch, stevia and rosemary, cilantro and chives and basil? Fresh cherry tomatoes (tommy-toes, Grandpa calls them)? Small sweet strawberries from our own little patch? Blackberries from vines along the road? Making jam, dipping our fingers in the syrup so sticky sweet after filling the jars?
Pumpkins on the porch? Leaves falling, gathering them up to press into big books and discovered later, much later? Collecting walnuts in the driveway? Chill winds coming up the valley?
Riding sleds down our little hill in winter? Making snow angels? Staying out until their noses are frozen and red, then coming in for hot chocolate, blankets, and a video, our clothes on a rack in the bathtub dripping dripping? Giant flakes falling, silent? Decorating the Christmas tree, the scent of fresh pine, cinnamon and cloves?
Sunday lunches with Grandma and Grandpa Y., aunts, uncles, and cousins? Big family Thanksgivings and Easters egg hunts?
Fishing with Grandpa Bob? Road trips and picnics with Grandma Dallas?
Looking for signs of spring? Crocuses and daffodils, grape hyacinth, tulips and iris? Dipping toes into the creek, the feel of river stone on bare feet? Popsicles on the porch?
Mama cooking, sometimes with Grandpa, sometimes all of us together? Hands clasped, singing "The Lord is good to me..." as we sit down to dinner?
Giggling and all piled onto the quilt in our oak bed? Saturday mornings making pancakes with Daddy? Coffee and listening to "Come to the meadow" or "Wait, Wait" on National Public Radio?
Night Rides? Watching storms darken the sky, rain coming down the valley, hearing it tapping on the skylights and porch roof?
Good night kisses? Reading on the couch before bed? The flowers on the porch, seashells and other treasures on the railing? Working with Daddy to build things (a bench, baby gates)? The sunflowers and daisies Mama loves? Walks up the hill? Mountains in shades of blue and green and purple?
Will they remember? Will they think happily of home?