Drive bys

I failed to get a photo of the mint field, but the sights, sounds, and smells of Jon’s ranch in Emmett elicits the same sense of homesickness

The first time I drove from Justin’s to Jon’s new place in Emmett I had the windows rolled down, the sun roof wide open and I could smell it before I could see it.


I slowed down and inhaled deeply.

And then I burst into tears.

I drove on past corn fields and hay fields and through the short wind-y pass–my very first time–with tears rolling down my face and a sharp pang in my heart.

That sudden, unexpected missing of something long missing but not forgotten stirred up remnants of loss and sorrows past and current deep from the bottom of the well.

Most of the time I don’t think about the loss. The too-soon loss of a parent. The deep uprooting as my mom packed up and moved to Utah for a better opportunity to support her family. The missing in my heart of the people and places, scenes and scents of my childhood. I was already away at university, so it’s likely any returns to my home would have been brief and scattered. But the roots had grown deep into that small farm town and there is still a part of me that longs for home, despite being perfectly rooted in a lovely Provo neighborhood for nearly 30 years since.

For a time I thought maybe we would somehow recreate it here. Fell in love with Midway and Daniel. Hannah and a few other stretches out east in The Basin where there was enough water for a few trees to grow here and there. Tiny farmhouses in patches of green would catch my eye. “I could live there,” I thought.

But it wasn’t to be.

And even if it would have been, I’ve never seen a peppermint field in Utah.

I still miss the tangy, earthy smell of mint in the early morning and the dusky evening hours every time I walked out my front door, and especially after a good rain.

I miss rain.

[Day 18 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

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