Yes, this is in reference to Lorde’s “Perfect Places”, a song that I love so much. My perfect place is a small town in the Berkshires in Massachusetts where my mom grew up and where I lived for a short time before moving to Chicago. Although it was a short time, it was a perfect time.
The time has come for my family to say goodbye to my mother’s childhood home there. We have been extremely lucky to have it and to love it for so long, but it is now going to a new family. They are excited to be the next inhabitants and caretakers of the home, and I’m sure they will cherish it and create their own beautiful memories in it. How lucky are those who get to wake up and go to sleep in such a beautiful place every day.
Whenever I see a Massachusetts license plate, the simple white background with the letters in blue and numbers in red, my heart swells with both joy and grief – joy as I recall my season of life there, and grief for a place that I once called home, and a longing for that feeling of home that I haven’t quite found since.
I can’t completely describe what encapsulates my time there, just that it was my perfect place and my perfect time. I feel so very lucky to have had that time in that place. But it certainly makes saying goodbye so much harder.
I was becoming my person there. I felt brave, strong, and independent for the first time in my life, and maybe the only time really. I had a fire for life that year, a sense of freedom and lightness.
So often in life we’re thinking about what’s next and looking to the future. That year I truly enjoyed my present moment. I wasn’t looking forward and I wasn’t looking backward. Yes, I had fun researching graduate programs and submitting my applications, but I already knew that I wanted to go to grad school the following year before moving to Williamstown. So it was just a natural course of events of what was next.
Pure joy, pure comfort, pure love. I hope to feel this way about a place again someday.
So long, my perfect place.