Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When Nostalgia Whispers

Despite our best attempts to plan around the weather, we found ourselves caught in a winter snow storm on our drive from Texas to Colorado at Christmas. Though the storm wasn't forecasted to roll in until the evening of our second day driving, by lunchtime, the snow fell in steady white flakes, covering the roads, the rural towns, and the rest of the empty landscape in pristine powder.

We pulled into a restaurant for lunch, the parking lot frosted thickly white. Before we opened the car doors, we readied ourselves for the cold, wet trek to the warmth inside.

I climbed out of the car quickly and turned to extend my hand to Abby so we could race in together. But as soon as Abby stepped out of the car, she stopped.

She closed her eyes, lifted her face to the sky, and opened her mouth to catch snowflakes on her tongue.

Her response to the snow was reflexive, without thought, as natural as squinting into the sun. It was as though something deep within her recognized the snow as a return to home, and her little body knew its role by heart.

I stood there watching my girl, silent snowflakes collecting all around us, and marveled at how deep the roots of a place burrow inside us, how readily our spirit responds to the memories of where we come from.

She giggled and ran to grab my hand, her cheeks now pink. "It tastes good, Mama!" she shouted as we hurried inside together, kicking up puffs of ivory with each step.

Yes, Baby. Nothing tastes sweeter than home. And we are wise to listen when nostalgia whispers, inviting us to stop, close our eyes, and remember.

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