Look Homeward, Fallen Angel

Planning on making a trip back to Iowa becomes daunting as I get older and un-wiser. But I have to go home never-the-less. My octogenarian parents are both still alive and both still living on the family farm. I only get to see them once a year. And each year is more likely the last time than the year before. And it is not just them. I am nearly 63 and in really poor health. I have six incurable diseases (diabetes, osteoarthritis, COPD, psoriasis, hypertension, and chronic allergies… geez, it is hard to remember them all). And I am a cancer survivor. Which way the wind is blowing at the moment may completely alter my future.

Rowan, Main Street, with the water tower in the background.

The saying from the author Thomas Wolfe, the author I alluded to in the title, is, “You can’t go home again.”

In many ways that is an inescapable wisdom. I will go back to my boyhood home of Rowan, Iowa. And it will not be the home I knew. Most of the people I knew there as a boy are long gone… to the graveyard west of town, or to Minnesota, or California, or places distant and unknown to me.

And it is not just the people. The buildings have changed. None of the businesses are the same except for the Post Office and the Library. And the Library is in a different building than it was.

Morning mists beyond the cottonwood tree near Grandpa Aldrich’s farm place.

But the memories persist. I know where I am when I am there. It is the center of the universe as I once knew it. And the only reason I can’t go home again, is because I carry home with me wherever I go. And as fallen angels go, sometimes they simply pick themselves up, and fly towards home.


Filed under autobiography

4 responses to “Look Homeward, Fallen Angel

  1. In some respects, I have never been home. There was never anywhere I believed I belonged. So you are lucky.

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