Thursday, May 31, 2012

Returning the Cinnamon

Yesterday, I went to lunch with my cousin/friend Shann. She arrived at the house and waited for me in the car. Bounding out the front door, I greeted her and stepped to her open window.

Morning Sun Through Villa Rica Pines
We exchanged compliments, each finding something worth a shout-out, the norm between us two. Then she followed hers up with an "I'm so glad you're back here, and that you're my friend!"

To which I heartily agreed, saying, "And I return the cinnamon."

Giggling, I corrected myself. "Sentiment, I mean. I return the sentiment."

Driving to Phat Phil's (me in my car, she following), I felt a surge of love and connection. It was one of those perfect spring days in Northwest Georgia, sunny and warm, but not too warm. A perfect, low-humidity type day.
Villa Rica Main Street at Sunset

We drove down North Avenue, past the site of the old hospital (now a parking lot for the new), past Junior Food Store and through the 'projects' that have been there for as long as I remember. A family friend lived there growing up and, with pride I noted that it is still as well-kept as it was back then.

The Old VR Movie Theater, Now Cinema Tavern
On to Old Town Road through Fullerville, past my friend Shelia's mama's house and the baseball park. I spent countless hours in both places as a youth: hanging out, sleeping over, inventing things in the kitchen. In my mind's eye I see little usses jumping the ditch playing follow-the-leader. My mouth waters remembering green plums plucked straight from the tree.

By the time I made the outskirts of Villa Rica, I was bursting with it. It welled up inside and I watched myself with awe and wonder as all those feelings tumbled out in a shouted, "I LOVE YOU, VILLA RICA!!!!"

What has changed? Everything. And yet nothing.

Bugsy, At Home in Villa Rica
Only me. Well, not so much me as my mind. My mind has changed. I now see a place of beauty, love and community. I see a place where I belong, a place I want to belong. That is what has changed.

So. Villa Rica. Thank you for giving me a beautiful life, both then and now. I am home.

And this time, I can return the cinnamon.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

5 comments:

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Bugsy looks content. Glad you have found a center and a community. Only happy days ahead, Roland

Yvonne Osborne said...

Funny how our view of "home" can change. Have a great summer, with lots of cinnamon!

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Roland, yes he seems so, in spite of my neighbor's eleven cats & the odd toms that wander freely. Thank you for stopping by, I miss seeing you.

Yvonne, thanks and a great summer to you, too!

~ Olivia

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Olivia, it's a two way street: I've missed seeing you at my blog. Have a great summer, you and Bugsy~ :-)

Walter Knight said...

There's no place like home.

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