What Brings You Home

As writers we must notice things that others don’t, so that we can use it later in our fiction/poetry/political satire/what-have-you. We subconsciously train ourselves over a lifetime of deliberate observation to make meaning out of small events, where others might simply say, “Oh. Yeah. That happened.”

But it’s vital to notice these things so that we can infuse our writing with these things so that others, too, will slow down and find meaning where otherwise would be a simple event.

I, for instance, happened to keenly notice the sound of my bike tire hitting the gravel of the parking lot in back of the row of townhouses where Dax and I live. For the first few times I rode my bike to and fro, I didn’t notice anything beyond the grind of gravel meaning, “Ah, I am approximately ten seconds away from my own hearth.”

I realize now that sound has an unconsciously calming effect on me, because the crunch of gravel under tires has always meant that I’m close to home.

In Albuquerque when I was but a wee sprite, the sound of my tricycle in the back alley rolling over small pebbles meant I just had to turn the corner to be in my own front yard. On the ranch in Texas the car tires rolled over a quarter mile-long driveway of dust and gravel and rock before coming to rest in front of our fifty year old white brick home. I gave directions thusly, “Drive until the pavement ends, and turn left at the corner of Western and Givens.”  Or as Mom would say, “Your front tires will be on gravel, and your back tires on asphalt. That’s us.”

Even in Montana, the asphalt at Mom and Dad’s house ended at our driveway, which was a good two inches below the rest of the road. So on my way home from downtown, work, or wherever else I rode or drove, the bump of my tires and the mutter of gravel meant I was home.

Now, it still does, and that has meaning to me.

What are the sounds that bring you home?


About jesseowen

I’m a professional author, artist, and for years I was an Equity Stage Manager in the theatre. My current project is a quartet of young adult novels titled The Summer King Chronicles. I’m from the mountains of Montana; I’ve traveled the United States with theatre tours and left the country only twice: once to Italy, once to Scotland. I drink a lot of coffee, I love music and travel and Renaissance art. I read (some) poetry, watch a lot of movies, read, aspire to get up early. Among other things. I still think the original Star Wars is one of the best stories of our time. If you’d like to know more, drop me a line! ~Jess View all posts by jesseowen

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