I recently went back home to Indiana to visit with my family and for those of you that have never been to Indiana you really aren’t missing much. There are some pockets worth checking out but mostly it is cows, pigs, corn and not much else. We left the Kokomo area after visiting my parents and made an impromptu brunch visit with my sister in Lafayette before heading south to visit my brother in Columbus (Indiana not Ohio; near Bloomington).
All along the way, I watched the terrain change a bit here and there; the sky was gray, snow flurries were whipping around, fields were barren except for shorn corn stalks and debris left behind from the autumn harvest and it dawned on me how the local terrain influenced my reading lists during my childhood. I giggled a bit and Sus asked, “What’s so funny?” I relpied, “These are my Moors, no wonder I felt isolated and grew up to be neurotic.” Not that Cathy and Heathcliff or Tess D’ Urberville were surrounded by cornfields and I would’ve gladly taken their literary heather and scottish thistle in trade. I think I might have even preferred the hounds of Baskerville that cursed Dartmoor and kept me awake and enthralled when I should have been peacefully dreaming.
It also dawned on me that perhaps my sister also felt isolated during childhood, I found solace in novels, solitude and endless cups of hot tea. I am not certain what she took comfort in. She wasn’t an avid reader like my brother and I and hated solitary exploits and perhaps that is why she would escape every weekend to a friend’s house that lived in the nearest small town. She was Lydia to my Elizabeth; pleasure seeking and fond of silly pursuits.
I simply fail to fathom my sister’s inability to rationally deal with life’s hiccups and her bipolar disorder. We deal differently with life. I was hoping that I would find her greatly changed on this visit but instead I found it all too familiar. I am not angry nor am I sad. I am perplexed and a tad frustrated with myself for harboring hope.
On the bright side…
I really enjoyed my visit with my brother and oddly enough my parents. I was able to reconnect with friends. I also enjoyed the season of winter, bitter cold, biting winds that take your breath and snow. It has been 4 years and I have missed it. I even missed the Christmas madness. Not the mindless consumer shopping part but the festive, fun, anticipation part.