These are some images taken a couple of weeks ago when we went down south to visit my in laws. But they could have been pulled straight from my childhood.
I once read somewhere that you should love your place, no matter where you live. I hated Tallahassee when I first moved here. My first spring here and I was done though, I fell in love and have fallen deeper and deeper in love with this place every year.
But there is something special about the place you were born.
I like going to the Redlands (a rural area west of Homestead, as you head towards the Everglades). Something about seeing palm trees and avocado groves makes me feel safe. We left when I was ten after Hurricane Andrew.
Each time I visit Homestead, specifically the Redlands, it gets hazier and hazier. The memories of where things were and landmarks seem to slip farther and farther out of reach.
I worry a lot that it will all be gone one day. So many avocado groves and farms have been developed already My families land included. My Granny’s house managed to become a historical property, but there is only 5 acres around her house now, when it used to be oh, so much more.
I worry that the more the Redlands changes, the more it gets chipped away at, that I somehow will change too. As if they are taking a part of me too.
To see Penelope climb an avocado tree made my heart swell. To know that even if they cut down every last one, Truffla Tree style, at least Penelope was able to climb in an authentic Redland avocado tree.
And I feel better knowing that she has has had the experience of a strawberry shake and cinnamon roll from the Knaus Berry Farm.
I didn’t recognize a single face when I was there, but I will always have the memory of coming home from school to find a bunch of women from the Knaus Berry Farm swimming in my pool. They wear long sleeve dresses and bonnets, Amish style. I do not know how my mother convinced them to go swimming, but she did.
Where were you born? Where is your place now?