Took a long overdue trip back home yesterday. Down Georgia Highway 204 on the border between Bryan and Chatham Counties. Along the Ogeechee River where on a high bluff lay the remains of Uncle Shed's Fish Camp. There’s not much to it now, only one cabin remains untouched and unused. A few other modernized cabins are there for family. The mobile home my adopted parents lived in and a few other outcrop buildings are all that remain.
But over 40 years ago a lost child drove down to this place. Found a spot in this misfit community and ever since it has been my physical and spiritual home. There are not enough words here to explain my connection to this ground. And while I have no physical claim, it is still my home. So after seven years, I walk around the grounds. Remembering what it was, seeing what it is; and listening to the voices echoing through the Live Oaks and Spanish Moss.
Lately I’ve felt lost, I see no home here where I am other than my children. I have no claim to anything, a nomad if you will, in a community that cares more about physical than any spiritual claim. My only friends are online, but they don’t hear my voice or see my eyes. Or do they know the history of my scares. Over 10 years ago I reconnected with my adopted mother and for a few years I visited and called her every week. My own mother had died a few years before leaving me memories but not much more.
After my exodus from Savannah in 1994 I’ve only had infrequent contact with the city, while I worked here to find myself. But things have come full circle now. I’m living my own legacy, but my place is not only here, it’s back home as well. I wish I could better explain what I’m feeling. The emotions, the memories, the desire to reconnect with a part of myself I lost so long ago. Maybe the next few months I’ll find some answers, maybe even find myself again. Because while part of me has been found, the rest still needs to be rediscovered, reclaimed and welcomed home again.
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FD Thornton, Jr
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