Finding Home

The other day I realized that I’ve now spent more time in Lassen County, California than any place I’ve ever lived except Ohio, my childhood home. It hasn’t been consecutive. I’ve left and come back, traveled for periods of time, but this is where the years have accumulated.

It’s a bit of a shock since it’s probably the place that has been the most difficult on a day to day basis.

There are things I love about living here. The high desert, especially with its stunning night sky, suits my taste for wild, open spaces. It’s a magical light show every night. I also love the fierce winds that tear over the mountain tops wailing and howling like a thousand banshees. Many people think the wind is upsetting, but I find it to be a kindred spirit, one who gives voice to things I’m afraid to speak.

The first time I left this little high desert town more than 10 years ago, I truly believed I would never be back. Yet when I did return I felt strongly that I was literally being pulled back here for some reason. That I was meant to be here.  For what that reason is or was, I still don’t know and maybe I never will. And maybe that’s okay. But I do have some deep feeling that says, at least for now, I’m where I need to be. That the lessons life has in store for me are somewhere near by. That right now this is home.

Part of it may be my house. Up on the hilltop there’s a certain peace that I don’t feel when I drive down into the small town in the valley. There it’s like sandpaper. I’m constantly rubbing myself raw against the status quo of small town life. But on the hill it’s isolated and beautiful and I could easily and happily stay up here for days on end. It’s a writer’s dream and I’ve always been creative here in a way that I’m not in places that are smoother to my psyche and soul.

Other places have been far easier. In my twenties I spent most of my time between Santa Cruz and San Francisco where I talked to the ocean and felt a sense of belonging that I’ve never felt anywhere else. My years in Asia were a different kind of growing. I was so clearly an outsider that I was able to carve out a strange place for myself. I loved  Mexico. San Diego just felt generic, neither good nor bad. And I’ve passed through other places along the way.

But for now I’m here. For whatever that means.

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5 thoughts on “Finding Home

  1. I, for one, am so glad you’re home, Jordan. This piece made me think about my own journey to Lassen County. When I moved here over twenty-five years ago from coastal redwood country, I thought I would die for missing the green. It took me three years to learn to see the beauty in the high desert, but when my eyes and heart and mind were finally acclimated and educated to perceive the beauty here, I came to love Lassen County as much as the misty redwood forests of my former home. The high desert has a hold on my heart now. When I see pictures like yours of the buck at sunset, I think, “Yes. That is what it’s like to live here. Moments of wonder and beauty.”

  2. For me, there is something wonderful about being at home; soothing and relaxing. So I understand that it’s not exactly that for you, as you mention difficult on a day to day basis. But I do hope that you will find a way to make your home the place where you truly feel best.

    • Actually, I do like my home. I don’t think difficult is necessarily bad. Sometimes I think that’s how we grow. I guess I’m not always clear with what I’m trying to say.

  3. Perhaps I was a little taken aback by your mention of the difficulties, but I am very happy to hear that you love your home… and often one thing has little to do with the other, speaking of love and difficulties.

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