Gran's Apple Butter Blog

August 2, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Ducks Here and Yonder (6/VIII)

Filed under: Books,Companions,Dating,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Relationships,Sharing the journey — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 10:49 am

Chapter 6 ~ Ducks Here and Yonder

     As we travel around practicing our diplomatic skills, Gran said we’ll recognize people from home by their voices, their accents, even by what they talk about. After all, someone from your hometown usually sounds a lot like you. That’s why Gran liked country music so much. Those voices reminded her of so many people, she’d say, all rolled up in one, with mud on their whitewalls, clear eyes that looked straight back into yours, and strong hearts that weren’t afraid to stand up for what they thought was right.

     That’s why Gran often made friends with people named Mater and Dickey Lee and Sara Jean when she ran into them out on the road. In her hometown, two first names meant good people. And the accents you heard when the conversation started flowing – they rang true. No falsity there. No I’m-trying-to-be-somebody-else. Just Me.

     Often we run into these people when we’re clear across the world and least expecting it. Sometimes that’s when we need this connection most. That’s when you find someone else who understands the importance of Taco Night. Or maybe you’re in the middle of a concrete jungle somewhere on the far side of the moon, and all of a sudden you hear a voice and you know where that person came from – that voice came from your corner of the world. That’s when you realize you’re not the only one who can’t roll her R’s, and home doesn’t seem so far away then.

     We look for this feeling of recognition on all kinds of levels, almost by instinct. Does a person sound like home? Smell like home? Most revealing may be the way a person thinks. You see, people from the same hometown will often look at something and see the same thing, whatever that may be, at least in the first moment until they take off their sunglasses.

     For example, if you look at a mallard duck and think “endangered” and the person you’re with thinks “dinner,” the two of you may not be overly compatible in a long-term arrangement. At this point it may not matter who’s right or wrong (unless you’re the duck) – what matters is that you’re seeing very different things. Which is not to say companions should be carbon copies of each other – traveling with someone with different views can dramatically widen your horizons, and perhaps theirs too. Just be aware, Gran said, that you may have frequent discussions about what belongs on the dinner table.

     If you’re not up to 24/7 learning, Gran thought you might want to travel with a person with similar core values. After all, that first response, however it may eventually develop, provides a strong foundation, and from there your combined experiences can color and shape your journey together.

     Of course, Gran always tacked on a postscript: If a person doesn’t even see the duck, and that duck is pretty important to you, you might want to reconsider. But that’s your choice.

© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010-2011. All rights reserved.
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