The pain of leaving my childhood home
| A small shimmering, tear slid down my flushed cheeks as I stared longingly at a small brick house that I used to call home. My mother, father and brother were inside working quickly getting boxes filled and loaded onto my father’s step deck trailer. I wanted so bad to help them, but I could not bring myself to aid them in this particular endeavor. Losing my childhood home was more painful than anything I had ever experienced in my entire life.
I slowly walked down a tilted yard behind my house. There wasn’t much grass around the whole yard, just large tufts of grass that dotted the lawn. I stopped in front of a pebble strewn path that wound through a thick forest. The forest, beyond the small back yard, was a place so full of mysterious secrets that boggled my mind each time I thought about them. As a child I would spend hours just exploring ever hole and tree root that was visible among the dried leaves. My brother and I even went as far as exploring outside our property, enemy territory. Some days we were the captains of tiny vessels that we sailed on the open sea. I giggled a little at the memory. Our marvelous ships were just a half of an acorn and the vast open sea was the narrow creek that ran through our property into another. Other days my brother and I were two fearsome warriors that traveled and defended our land even at the cost of our lives. Our powerful swords that we carried at our sides were sharper than any of our foes’. Every person in the land trembled at even the mention of our names. Everything in woods was so magical.
As I continued down the path I came upon a clear flat land in the far left corner of the woods. The ground was still hilly and innumerable weeds thrived in the nutritious fertile path of land. This is where we planted our first garden. I struggled to remember more about our garden, but nothing came to mind except the first time I had ever burnt my hand. Dad was tilling the soil with his new tiller in preparation for that spring crops. The frigid morning air chilled my hands to the bone. I was so desperate for warmth that I placed my right hand on the tiller’s heated motor. I grimaced as I remembered the horrid pain that seared through my hand and up my arm. When I quickly turned my palm up to examine my hand, I noticed that most of the skin was white and loose, while the skin on the other was pink and tight. I stifled my tears and ran up the path, cradling my throbbing hand in the other. When I complained to my mom about it she led me to her bathroom and applied some type of oil to the burn. Feeling much better I ran back outside to play. From that point further I was careful never to make a mistake like that again.
I sighed, head bowed, and walked past the old garden toward the back of our property. Upon arrival, I stared blankly into a large trench that cradled a narrow, but deep, creek. In the center of the creek was a huge rock that was about four feet in diameter. I remembered how this unmovable rock had served as an entrance point into “enemy territory”. When my sibling and I played our favorite game, ”spy”, we used the rock many times as a way into enemy territory and as a way out.
As I walked alongside the creek I noticed a very deep spot in the creek. It was so deep that you could not see the bottom. I looked closer and noticed several wriggling tadpoles. I remembered the time that I jump into that very spot and scare away all of the tadpoles. I stood still in the knee high water until I could see the tadpoles wiggling at the surface of the murky water. I always had a jar with me. With pure stealth, I slipped the jar slowly into the water, caught a few. After I had finished studying them I always let them go back to their home.
My chest began to throb as I continued around a corner towards “tarantula root”. Tarantula root was basically a tree that had grown in the water. As time waxed on, however, the mud at the bottom of the creek softened and was not able to support the tree any longer. That is when the tree tipped over, and its roots became exposed at the surface. Because of the massive root’s spider-like shape, that spot became known as tarantula root to us kids.
I turned to look at a dome shaped patch of trees. Along time ago a powerful snowstorm swept through the woods leaving most of the trees encased in an icy coat. The ice was so heavy that I weighed the small saplings down until their tops touched the ground. For some odd reason they never stood straight again. We covered these trees with ferns and called it our secret hiding place. We spent many days playing spy, warrior, and detectives, and of course our head quarter was there under the tree-dome.
I was about to stroll into “enemy territory” when I heard my mother call from the front porch. I ran as quickly as I could toward an intimidating steep hill that led to the front yard. This hill was so steep that most people were not able to climb it at all, but my siblings and I had put much practice is scaling the huge clay wall. It only took me about thirty seconds to scale the hill and run into the front porch. Dad had already cranked up his tractor trailer and was about to leave with my brother. Our big glacier-blue Sedona was running as well with mom inside.
I looked back at my mother. “Let’s go,” She silently mouthed at me. I did not run to the car immediately though. I sprinted to a Chinese maple that decorated the front lawn. Since it was autumn, the leaves on the tree were a bright and beautiful rust color with a hint of green. They all looked like small cookie cutters hanging from the thin limbs of the tree. I picked the best looking leaf and shoved it inside my wallet, and then I sat down inside the car next to my mom.
As I was driven away from my beloved home, I managed to get a last glimpse of it. All around a small, little, cozy house a bright forest stretched over it forming a canopy. Behind the house the woods glittered, heavy laden with the morning dew. Around the drive way, azalea bushes dotted the edge of our property. An occasional squirrel ran across the lawn. I knew that the squirrels were very antsy, patiently awaited the day that the chestnuts would fall, showering then with autumn’s boon. As my memories, life, and dear home faded away I pressed my forehead and nose into the window and imagined my new home. It would be so different, so unique. Just like my old home. Even if this new place was just like my old home it would never be able to its place in my heart. I will be happy. I vowed to myself. I will love my new home, but I will never forget that magical wonderland that fed my imagination for so many years, deep in the forest of dreams.