Anyone else love the show “This Is Us?” I’ve been binge watching it on Hulu every chance I get, and it’s my absolute favorite new show. My uncle recommended it a couple of years ago after I lost my dad suddenly and unexpectedly, but I wasn’t quite ready for it then. Why? It’s one of the few shows I’ve seen that truly gets grief and loss at the deepest level (which is a testament to the acting as well as the phenomenal writing). This show has the big life stuff like the loss of a loved one, miscarriage, and so forth, but it also explores those transitional losses like moving and returning to your childhood town as an adult.
I grew up in a small town in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico, skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. When I had the chance to return there as an adult last year, after 20+ years of living elsewhere, I had a certain image in my mind of my old house, neighborhood, schools, the town itself, etc.
It was all so much smaller than I remembered it from years past. I even got a tour of my old house from the new owner, and it’s all almost exactly the same as the way I remember it, but I’m the one who has grown, matured and changed.
However, the biggest change I saw was in the local mountains themselves. Mountains I remember as so lush and green and beautiful, now devastated by wild fire after wild fire over the years.
I could not get those new images out of my mind. Plus, it was the first time my husband and kids were seeing where I grew up, and it was hard to describe the images of the mountains in my head juxtaposed with the mountains they were seeing and experiencing in person. It was heartbreaking for me on so many different levels.
Fast forward to a recent trip my family took to Colorado over winter break to go skiing. When we were driving up the mountain to the ski hill, I got that strange deja vu feeling like I’d been there before, even though I hadn’t ever been there before.
But, then I opened my mind and looked around at all the pine trees and green, thick forest, and realized it looked so much like the mountains I grew up in. To the point where when we were actually skiing, I kept hearing my dad’s voice in my head, the person who taught me how to ski when I was seven saying, “put your pole in and ski around it, Heidi. You’re doing great!” This mountain somehow felt so much more like I was coming home, than the one we saw in New Mexico.
Have you ever felt this way?
It was a great reminder for me that so much of my growth and maturity as a person happened outdoors hiking and skiing and exploring that mountaintop.
Sometimes you can’t go home again to those exact images in your head, but sometimes those images show up someplace else instead, which can be just as deeply meaningful!