Now that I am back to writing essays I feel as if I am home.
The roads are familiar, the buildings right where they should be, but they are improved, looking spiffier. There are changes to this so-recognizable landscape because there are changes in the way I write. Journeying away to fiction, for a few years, has taught me the importance of showing with words that which we want to tell.
I’ve learned that simply writing about the magnificence of the mountains pales. Now I write of the night spice of pine, mixed with campfire smoke, and describe the spongy bed of needles beneath my sleeping bag, and how the breathing of the wind in the pines lulls me to sleep in the shadow of the Grand Tetons.
Instead of writing about how much fun we had at the beach, I know to notice the reflection of the little boy in a red bathing suit, two of them now, in the shallows searching for snails and hermit crabs. Without a camera, it is a winning photograph I see, clicked forever in my mind as Long Island Sound, from his ankles to his little-boy knees, flows to shore.
Ah, I love the essay, it is so wonderful to be home again.
Where is your writing home?