I went for a walk around my neighborhood this afternoon. The wind was howling through the trees and whipping leaves up around me as I walked. I heard no other noises except the wind (we live in a very quiet neighborhood). It transported me back to my great grandma Emma’s house in Palmdale, California. Palmdale is in the Mojave Desert and considered “high desert”. It’s pretty windy there almost every day.
Great Grandma lived on a couple of acres and the back part of her property was nothing but desert – dry brush, cactus, and dirt! The four older of us six kids would play back there all the time. There was many a time, however, when I was back there by myself and the wind would kick up. It sounded a lot like what I heard on my walk today. Except when I was a kid on the back part of great grandma’s lot, there were no other houses and not a lot of trees, just enough for the wind to make music with. It was eerie and magical all at the same time. Sometimes, when the wind got especially gusty, it seemed to magnify the solitude and send me high-tailing it to the house! Keep in mind I was like 10-years old at this time. I spooked fairly easily.
It’s weird to me to think back to that time and realize how long ago it was. All of my ancestors are gone now. I haven’t been to that house in Palmdale in almost 50-years! Great-grandma passed away when I was in my early twenties. Great grandpa had passed many years before that. My parents and my grandparents are all gone. I am now my great-grandma. I’m not quite the same age as my great-grandma when she lived in that house, but I’m not far behind. In actuality, I’m not even a great-grandma yet. I am the matriarch of the family though. The oldest living female. So weird!
I never thought about any of this when I was younger. Aging does weird things to your emotional state. Nostalgia is a regular visitor. I try not to dwell there too much though because for me, memories make me sad. They remind me of what I’ve lost and who I miss. That’s the Eeyore in me. I do my best most of the time to look forward, but every now and then something will take me back. Like a solitary walk through a quiet neighborhood, with only the sound of the howling wind in the trees and the rustling of leaves that feels eerily reminiscent of the high desert of California, and makes me want to high-tail it back to the house.