Friday, September 16, 2011

The End is the Beginning

  A couple of weeks ago, when I first learned that my Dad planned to sell his house- my house- our house, I was dumbstruck. I hadn't heard any mention of this plan until the plan was in place. I haven't lived there since 1996, but it will always be my house. My Mom and Dad built that house from the foundation up. That piece of mountain property was bare when they bought it. No plumbing, no electrical.
  Suffice it to say, it's very dear to me. I spent two thirds of my life in that house. When I learned it was going on the market, I couldn't sleep that night because a flood of memories overwhelmed me. Everything about growing up in those mountains suddenly sprang to life. Climbing those trees. Riding my bike down those sunflower lined dirt roads. Learning to drive. Helping my Dad build additions. Filming countless movies there. I could literally write you hundreds of pages. That place was always supposed to be there. It was always supposed to be somewhere I could go. Now, it won't be.
  I'm in Albuquerque now, picking up a car I bought. I'll be leaving in a couple of days to drive it back to LA. Today, I drove out to the house to remove anything that belonged to me as the house is readied for sale.
  The drive up was amazing. I haven't seen the mountains looking so green in years. Wildflowers were everywhere, fields were alive with life. The air even smelled better. It was like taking a trip back in time.
  Dad and I spent the majority of the afternoon working on a couple of mechanical problems with the car, and then I went into the attic to get the last remnants of my personal belongings. I had taken most everything important or practical out of there years ago, and now all that remained were my toys and some other things from my youth. I gathered it all up and put the dusty old boxes in the trunk of my new car.
  My friends know that I like to collect rocks from places I've been. Usually from far away places, famous places, or places I may never get to go back to: Kilimanjaro, St. Helens, Stonehenge. Tonight, I took a rock from the ground outside my old bedroom window.
  And as much as I enjoyed seeing the mountain green and alive again, I also loved being there to watch the sun set, and hear the night come alive with crickets. It's a sound I remember very well from warm summer nights with my bedroom window open.
  I said my goodbyes, closed my trunk and started off down our long, sloping driveway. As I pulled into the road, the first song to come onto my iPod was "In My Room" by the Beach Boys. It was the perfect goodbye.
  Driving down that familiar stretch of dirt road, a thought occurred to me. My greatest dream growing up, and my first love, was to be in film. Now here I was, grown up, and in many respects, leaving home again. I was driving to LA to make my life as an actor. I thought about that little kid, growing up in the mountains with such big dreams.
  And I smiled.

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