November 11, 2013

Home Town

Quincy, California 2013
I met this image of my hometown in my Instagram feed this morning, posted by a long ago friend.

Born in Oregon, my family found home in the small, often neglected towns of the West Coast in Arizona and California. I lived my elementary and middle school years in Quincy, a tiny town that documented a population of 1,728 in the 2010 census.

Quincy has roots in the gold rush, but in my mind it is a logging town. My father's career with the US Forest Service brought our family to Quincy and is eventually the reason we moved away from it. While there are many things I took with meand left behindwhen we headed East for Virginia, the land is what compels my heart to claim this little valley home as my own.

So many truly good memories thread through those foothills, main street, the canyon and the river that carves it out.

Starlit skies canopy our bonfire parties, cleverly tucked away, accessible only by dusty roads snaking through the mountain ever greens. No curfew, the night stretches before us. 

Bike rides across town, gears clicking, we climb the hills out of our seats. Hands-free down Bucks Lake Road, empty afternoons with choose our own adventures. Skinny dips at Lover's Leapan ever-changing swimming hole at the whim of the Feather River. Dry heat, and hot rocks to spread out on. No time limits, or commitments. A freedom I never did find anywhere else. 

And then Snow. Snow that comes and never leaves, because the temperatures don't waver between the months of November and March. Snow so high we have to dig tunnels from our doorsteps, and yes, walk a mile to school. Sledding, and snow ball fights, and friends gathered outside in clusters, enveloped in our own chatter and breath smoke. The setting sun hints at rest with promise that tomorrow we can start again.

I've returned to Quincy many times since I moved away. At my last visit I was twenty-five weeks pregnant with Roscoe.

My trips back are always half full and half empty. It will never be what it once was, in those care-free days of childhood and early adolescence. Yet, almost 16 years later, I recognize how my venturesome spirit is grounded in the best parts of what that time was like for me, influencing so much of who I am and what I now crave for my own family.

This photo depicts Quincy exactly as I remember it, with love and longing.

Just gorgeous.

But I know that filters and perspective offer a dreamlike portrait memory that is more lovely than would be reality.

I am grateful for the ways that growing up in that small town, which offered us little more than the landscape that served to entertain us, has instilled in me a hunger for creativity and movement, and an appreciation for friendships built on whatever we can find out of doors to share together.  

1 comment:

  1. This picture and post brought back so many memories! I was telling my coworker all about it. The Toy Lending LIbrary was one of my faves! I had so many awesome times there but also realized when I went back that it was not the same as when we were children. Who I am was also shaped there. Sad that we can't go back in time and re-live it again!


Related Posts with Thumbnails