Hello to all of you blog trekkers out there. I've been thinking a lot lately about the meaning of home. I used to believe that a person only had one home - where they are living at the moment - but I guess things are a little more complicated than that. As my experiences have widened, I have come to realize that, at least for me, it's possible to have more than one home, and sometimes you keep homes in your heart. Someone who had a happy childhood in one place, but now lives in another probably considers both places home. I don't relate to that, since I was born, raised and still live in one state - Oklahoma. To me there is no place better than the Sooner state. But as I have learned, there are some places that equal it....
I am, among other things, a photographer. About six years ago I wandered into eastern Tennessee with my camera equipment because the woman that cuts my hair told me that the mountains were nice, and two friends were willing to make the trip with me. We loaded up the truck and headed for Oklahoma's border. We meandered across Arkansas and finally hit Memphis. After an unexpected and creepy experience at Graceland (that's a topic for later - maybe), we eventually made it to Nashville, then Knoxville and the mountains. I felt as if I had come home. No kidding. Those mountains opened up and enveloped me in a loving, warm embrace that made me want to stay forever. The week that we were there was magical, and I often use that word now to describe the Great Smoky Mountains. Dolly Parton is right - there is just no place like that place.
I've returned to the Great Smokies many times since then, and the feeling never goes away. It's home to me, just like Oklahoma. And in my travels I have found another home - far up north. It's home for a totally different reason.
Does anyone out there feel the same way? Has a place ever grabbed you with all its might, like the Smokies did for me? Or is home simply where you hang your hat at night?
Feel free to post and let us know.