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Home {a free-writing essay}

May 16, 2017

{This is an old free writing high school “essay” I wrote in which I was required to use all five senses. It is one of my favorite pieces to date, so I have left it as it is, with no edits.}

Home, by Amanda Foote. Photo: 2016 Dino Reichmuth

Home, by Amanda Foote

Not many places exist in the world where she feels at home or like she can be herself. Of the few she has a favorite; it is the small white and blue house where she grew up. It hides in the sweeping hills of her homeland, the ones that remind her of a violent raging ocean storm. Once a year she comes back, not being able to defy the inclination to return.

A young man resides there now that takes good care of the land. The moment she arrives at the edge of his land she is always overwhelmed by the sharp smell of freshly cut grass. It intensely reminds her of the old rose-scented perfume her mother wore, and of her father’s previous strange passion for gardening.

She strolls down the lengthy dirt footpath that leads to her childhood home, the same one she followed years ago on her way to school. Various sounds greet her while she strides, swift running water, the beautiful melody of singing birds, and the rustle of the breeze gently caressing the petite trees that line the thin trail. Each is immortal music to her ears, bring back a wave of nostalgia. Not too far away now she glimpses the house, with its white-washed walls and open navy shutters. Her face lights up, and a wide smile appears. The young man is on his knees, working out in her father’s old garden. He notices her when she pauses outside the picket fence her mother once painted a lively purple. He waves and she does the same.

She feels the familiar rough, irregular texture of the wooden gate as she thrusts it open. “Welcome back, Anna,” the man exclaims, smiling. She beams as she sidles up, and takes a single strawberry from the basket of them at his side.

“Good to be back, Jameson.” She speculates the scene around her. “I see you’ve kept the place to my liking, as always.” Her voice is heavy with the accent of her native language as she speaks to him in English. She sinks her teeth into the sweet, ripe strawberry as he chuckles. “I’m going to look around some more,” she announces. Anna enters the dwelling for what seems like the thousandth time.

Everything is the same, and yet, somehow different. Every sight, smell, sound… it all produces memories of her past. It is quiet, so serene, as she retraces her childhood. She steps into every room, each of her senses sending her back yet again.

Photo of strawberries. Free writing essay "Home" by Amanda Foote.

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