The Memory of Places
Next week, I'm adding another place to my list: Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I'll be living there for the next few months to take a position with WUNC. I'm excited to have a whole new town to discover and call my own, but for a lot of reasons it's also bittersweet. The place I live in now, an old white house in a diverse Chattanooga neighborhood, will be another home I've lived in and left behind with a whole host of great memories.
One thing that I like to do when I'm living in a place for a while is find some sort of token - take an object, however large or small, and make a memory out of it to keep with me. When I lived briefly in Norway in 2010, I visited some outer islands in the middle of winter and found a small frozen shell to take back. In Scotland, I picked up a smooth pebble from a beach on the west coast. To remind me of Sweden, I have a tiny pair of earrings:
I lived in Sweden for two months in December 2009-February 2010 (to see this). Because it was my first Christmas away from my family, and I hadn't lived there long enough to know anyone, I decided I would buy myself one Christmas gift, my only gift that year. I wandered through the town of Kiruna, way up above the Arctic Circle in Lapland, peeking in shops and stores. In mid-December there, the sun sets for about three weeks, so the town was dark and covered in snow drifts and ice. I remember finding a little Swedish gift shop and spied these earrings under a case. They were made in the Saami tradition, carved from a reindeer antler and birch wood. I bought them and kept them with me the rest of the year.
|Kiruna at night, December 2009|
Do you have a certain object that reminds you of a particular place or time in your life? I'd love to hear!