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Leaving Home

I came from people who left home. I decided to leave when I was four and I could barely wait the fourteen years. It never occurred to me there was any other way to be.
My mother left her home in the gathering clouds of war and desperation. My father left his to go fight that war. They met in the strange neutral crucible of Texas.
Their parents before them left home. Anna and Jacob left their Hungarian village for the industrial engine of Ohio. They fled the kings army and the bloody death-rattle of empire. They nurtured their brood in the land of opportunity.

Berta and Moritz moved from city to city for the chance to make a living and support a family. But they were trapped by their miscreant country and deported to concentration camps in Latvia and Poland. Pummeled, starved and widowed, Berta came to America and began a new life.

My journey had much less cause and risk, fortunately. I needed to unbind my feet, walk through cool streams and do all manner of things I couldn’t imagine doing under my parents noses. Short legs, long stride.

For thirty five years I’ve shared fires with the other voyageurs landing their pirogues on this gentle northwest bank. We’re staid and settled. Our chicks have fled our nests to seek corners, coasts, books and nettles. We still laugh at our family’s inability to understand our geography. Which way does the clock change? Which way do the planes fly? Note to self—don’t do that.