After a few hectic and chaotic weeks when we as adults focused on getting our new home ready for moving into I decided we all needed a break. It was not an impulsive decision, but a thought I have hold for many, many days: I wanted to bring my family to where it all started. I wanted to bring them back to Granite Falls!
But almost as soon as we had arrived at the campsite I started to worry. Had I did the right thing?
-Did we do the right thing Pat? What if bringing the children here would only cause them to feel as rootless as I feel most of my days when I think of me not having a past? What if…..?
-Ssssch, love, Patrik gently put a finger on my protesting lips and kissed them. It was a fond kiss, but also very firm and demanding. You are not your past, he whispered after his liplock lessened. You are so, so, so much more. And if nothing else, why not show them where OUR saga started?
I sighed, content in his warm and safe arms.
-Have I told you that I love you lately?
But when the lights were out and all four loves of my life was sound asleep in their beds I remained up. A haunting shadow from my passed kept on flying and buzzing in my brain, teasing, mocking and telling me all different kinds of razor sharp, realisations: I was damaged goods. I would never be whole. What could I ever bring my family but the same pain and lack of solid ground that was a constant of my life? Oh why did I come here in the first place? Would it not be better if I just gave up and went back home where we….. well, I at least could feel safe?
But when the first light of the summer sun found her way through the window it not only managed to make it extremly hot and impossible to stay in bed, it also chased my nightterrors away. I decided that our time in the National Forest of Granite Falls would be spent with the agenda of lightly guided adventure. Meaning that me and Patrick showed them all “our” spots where we had shared many sweet memories when we just had met. But when that caused the kids to make gagging sounds I let the reins go and let them roam free.
My husband tried to put some tutoring and learning into the excursion (bless his kind nature heart), but the kids were more prone to experience things hands on. Fredrik especially dived hands on into chasing frogs that he could later chase his sister with (“C’mon! Kiss them and they will become a prince!”). Linn especially were particularily grossed out:
-Get away! Go away! Uuuuuuh! Moooooom!
Yes, it was true: We did not have any specific goals this sunny morning. But still, it felt that my feet had their own idea, walking and guiding us on paths that I was sure that me and Patrik had never walked on. Still, it felt like I had walked those paths a million times before…
All of a sudden I was standing ahead of a wooden entrance. Yes, I knew I was crazy. That a sane person would have waited until she knew more. Until there were some confirmations from the park rangers. But who said I was sane? For all I knew I could have inherited a complete insane persons genes and personality traits. It was impossible for me to know was it not, since I could not remember who I was. So I took a deep breath, smiled at Linn and Patrik – and went inside…
It was dark and damp, but surprisingly well maintained. At different parts of the walk the path forked, but it was never an issue for me. I knew instintively where to go and where to put my feet. It almost felt like I could have walked there blindfolded so familiar did it feel….
Afte about what felt like 10 minutes walking in the green-golden shadow of the covering leaves above me, forming both a path and a tunnel I came out in a big clearing. At first I was blinded by the sharp light and I had to stand still for a few moments, my hand shadowing my eyes a little. But when my eyes had gotten accustomed to the sunny light again and I could truly take in where I was it was like opening a gate:
This was my home. This was where I had grown up! I did not remember much, but what I did remember (mostly emotions and flashback memories) came flooding over me. It was just small things really. Like the fact that I knew where the key to the door of the small cabin were (under the loose stone beside the grill), where the matches to the firepit were kept (in the carpenter bench ironicly). That I used to pick and eat strawberries from the garden when I was a young girl and go fishing in the creek just behind the cabin in the early mornings and so on. This was my childhood home… However, there were noone home when I knocked on the door. I let myself in though (key under the loose stone remember) and had a quick look around. It was almost like the time had stood still. A polaroid photo frozen in time. But besides me, who else could have lived in the small cabin? I tried very hard to remember but everytime it felt like I got close it eluded me.
I knew it was selfish, but I spent a few hours at this my personal oasis sitting at the fire pit. When the sun starting to set I stood up, brushed of some imaginary grains from my skirt and went back the same way I had come.
-So, what did you like it? I asked when the bags were packed once more and we were finally ready to go home again. Was it as terrible as you feared? Even without your iPod? I winked at Fredrik. He had been the one that had seemed the most relaxed and at ease here.
-It was deadly boring, he answered with a very theatralic yawn. But it was cool when you went through the magick door and just disappear!
–No! Emma said firmly. Not cool one bit. It was too many bugs here and no WiFi at all. All my freinds would easily think that I have disappeared from the surface of earth as well. And moooom! I got grass stains on my new dress!
-There you go, Patrick laughed. I told you it would not be that much earthshattering adventures. You went away on a detour for a few hours, thats all. Some alonetime for a mom, what is there to complain about?
-You right of course, I said, but my heart was not in the reply truly. In my mind I was remembering and replaying my time at the cabin. I had felt so at peace and at home there in a way that I knew I had not felt in a long, long time. And I had not told my husband about it. Had not told any of my family about it. It gnawed on me that I did not feel for more guilty for doing so…