Monday, February 27, 2012


I went back to my family home in Bedminster, PA this weekend. In a wave of nostalgia I started going through the closet in my childhood bedroom. I tried on my prom dresses (pathetic? weird? you decide!) and flipped through pictures from junior high school. In my school we used to give wallet-sized copies of our school pictures to our friends with messages written on the back. We shared a lot of inside jokes. Jokes so remote that I've completely forgotten why I once found them funny. "Always remember Reese's clipboard" reads the back of one photo. Well, I'm sorry, but I have no memory of what that's about. "And always remember all the indoor golf." Again, nope, indoor golf not ringing any bells. 

I found some tokens from my more recent past:  $65 worth of renminbi, from when I was in Beijing after college. I don't know why, but seeing them reminds me of Chinese Starbucks Lattes made with UHT milk. Does Beijing have fresh milk these days? I wonder... 

Don Draper once told me in Greek nostalgia means "the pain from an old wound."

When I was little I used to play outside as soon as I got home from school. We lived on ten acres, and I didn't have any neighborhood kids to play with, so I would explore the backyard wilderness alone. I didn't have a camera. I never took any pictures of what the land looked like then. This past weekend I took my phone with me and snapped some shots as I revisited this unconventional piece of land. The landscape has changed a lot over the last 25 years. It's filled with trees that are just a little bit younger than I am. My dad planted hundreds of them, so I guess that's why I feel so nostalgic about them. They are where they are because of my family. I can just about remember when they were all saplings, and today a young forest is there.

Here is some moss, and in the background out of focus is some shale. 

 The moss is growing on a cylinder of concrete. 

Below, a young deer has been killed and scavenged. (Possibly by my dog).


And here is the young forest, with grasses that are dead from winter.

The crocuses are coming up. These are at the very back of the property. I was too early to catch any blooms. 

And here is more moss, growing in electric green. 

Cattails growing in a pond.

Deer fur.


1 comment:

  1. Melissa, I love it! Like you, I didn't have any neighborhood kids to play with. So, when I wasn't with Andrew or Tegan, I would spend great amounts of time alone, laying on my stomach in the grass watching the tress blow in the wind and listening to birds. Living in the city satisfies my sense of adventure, but it doesn't feed my soul like that time did.