During those all to rare occasions that I am able to return to my home place, invariably John Denver rings in my head the minute crop rows and country roads come into focus. Flying above the clouds is really something, but flying low over the familiar has its own unique charm. Calendars begin their backward turn, while the voices and characters that shaped my past come to life once more. As the plane touches down they become most vivid in memory, and my age a yo-yo of six to sixty. Being able to look into the eyes of my dear Aunts and Cousins and see glimpses of my mother, father, grandparents and beyond, firms the ground beneath my feet. Genetic patterning is a comfort; like aerial crop rows, the familiarity is palpable.
On Christmas Day this year I hope to have worked through the details necessary to talk with and SEE the family through Skype. No low flying involved. The opportunities for communication today were unimaginable to that child of six. We'll see if the decades older version can get the wiring and software hooked up. Should you hear me humming "Country Roads Take Me Home" this week, you'll know I found the on-ramp to the Skype highway.