Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I am nine years old and trying to fake being impressed by the Redwood National Forest, since my Grandma brought me and all. Giant trees, springing from a moss-carpeted world that has no need of human aid?

I know a place like that.

I am nineteen and sitting in college. The professor speaks of Alaska's 'brain drain', and how often the same qualities that isolate and cheapen our view of hometowns while in our twenties will draw us back as priorities shift later in life.

I know a place like that.

I am thirty years old and enrolling my first baby in a school. A school which fosters interdependence among its member families, by drawing on their God-given talents to keep the lights on. Politics tone down when passions pour forth. Those who craft with wood and fiber will do so; the harpists will teach music because their passion is magnetic; the natural cooks will feed the children from the Earth's bounty, and the storytellers will entertain. Also, math.

I went to a school like that.

I am staring at my father in a foreign country. His friends are nice, they seem to love his company, and his wife is a born hostess in any hemisphere. I cry myself softly to sleep every night in Australia. These friends are nice but they don't have Grandma Neva, julebukking, or the contented pace of island life.

I know a place that does.

We are sitting in the forest on a rushed commuter's campout. The black birch trees frame the night sky like the ventricles of my heart. I am at home. My kids are visitors.

I'm from a place like this.

I am listening to an urban theorist, who expounds on the diverse talent, technology and tolerance that make a vibrant community. He claims it's unique to cities. I disagree. It flows naturally from love and necessity.

I'm from a place like that.

I am looking at my husband, who has hung the stars for me since the second day we met --- he's saying he wants to catch a fish, take a walk, grill some burgers, watch the children grow from right up close.

And I know a place like that.



  1. This makes me cry. Praying for you. And love you all.

  2. I know and miss a place like that.

  3. I'm so glad you're blogging again!

  4. The black birch trees frame the night sky like the ventricles of my heart.

    What a great line!

  5. I had to go back and read this again. When I had more time and wasn't rushing out the door to start my day. Now I'm puddling up at work. I love the pictures. They make my heart ache. Why is it not raining? I love you Tiff. Jamie Lynn

  6. You don't need jewelry Tiffany: you ARE a jewel! Fellow expat Petersburgian