The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Mind Trip Home

By Edward J. Regis, Jr. © 1990

Issue: June, 1990

Thomas Wolfe said, "You can't go home again." I believe you can.

Deep within the layers of our brain material is hidden all our life experiences. More than that, I believe we are born with the thoughts and memories of our ancestors. Even perhaps memories from our reptile uncle or amoeba cousin. That is deep.

If you are ready, you can travel back to those hills from whence you came. You can see those glorious sights again. You can smell the smells and experience the comforting feelings again. When you are ready you can.

I challenge you right now to stop your whirling mind, shut out the confusing world, take a trip with your feelings. You can do this right now. At this very moment in your life you can do it. Do yourself a kindness. Take a trip back home with me.

Let's state just a couple of rules for our trip. Rule # 1: We are not going to see any sad scenes; no sickness; no pain; no suffering. We will refuse to see any meanness, spitefulness, greed, envy, and the like. Rule # 1 simply means we pledge to make this trip a happy one. We will see happy sights, smell happy smells, experience happy feelings. Rule # 2: If we start to feel unhappy, we will revert to the wisdom of rule # 1. You must take these rules seriously if your trip is to be worthwhile. We only take the real life trip one time. This play trip you can take any time you please.

Oh, there is one small hitch. I doubt if you can take this special trip if you don't come from the hills. You will not have the experience. The words will not mean much to you. It's not your fault. You just won't have the right experiences in your past to take this trip. No one can give you the experience either. You just have it or you don't . Try anyway. Maybe you had an ancestor from the hills and you were born with some mountain life in your brain. At any rate, it will not hurt you to try.

That is all the rules. Don't make any more.

What I will do is list some special words. You will intensely focus on each word, one word at a time. You will savor the meaning of the word, your meaning. Read the word, shut your eyes and feel. Bring back all the memories caused by that word, or combination of words. Just suck back the memories from the past, taste them; see them; smell them. Then open your eyes and go to the next word. Go gently. There is no hurry. Enjoy. Be happy. Have fun. Start now.

Octagon soap. Baby oil. A cow's breath. Wood smoke. Your own dog. Boiling baby bottle nipples. Crayons. Canvas shoes. Flannel. Braided hair. Beech nuts. Baked bread. Sowbelly rolled in flour. Fried bologna. Smokehouses. Steelies. Koolaid. Silk stockings. Mud. Clabber. Broomstraws. Hayfork. Ponhoss. Wild strawberries. Fishing worms. Indian arrowheads. Bonnets. Toilet water. Sears Roebuck. Neatsfoot oil. Corn flakes. Bobwhite quail. Apron. Clean sheets. Pieplant. Whistlepig. Furrow. Plowed earth. Orangewood. Currants. Cowpies. Sooey. Apple peelings. Cloves. Sugar trees. Dogwood. Sunshine. Ferns. Yellow tomatoes. Hay. Featherbed. Washboard. Irish cobbler. Cabbage hole. Your father's hands. Love. Ground coffee. Litter of kittens. Horsehair in the rain barrel. Catseye marble. Amos and Andy. Broomcorn. Blackstrap molasses. Ginseng. Wild asparagus. Sassafras tea. Oleo. Jump rope. Swimming hole. Safety pin fish hook. Rumble seat. Circus. Johnny Mack Brown. Stilts. Dowsing. Froe. Corncrib. Boogers. Ramps. Poke. Fox Grape. Chinquapin. Buster Brown. Red Ryder. Hopscotch. Bay rum. Cigar smoke. Persimmon. Pickled beans. White oak splits. Pawpaws. Lye soap. Serviceberry. Sorghum. Churn. Firewater. Foxfire. Oxtail soup. Johnny jump-ups. Coal hod. Roll top desk. Falsies. Rouge. Dominecker rooster. Sleeping loft. Dandelion greens. Overalls. Mantel. Black eyed Susans. Mary Janes. Salt fish. White chocolate. Raisin pie. Onions. Paper fan. Hames. Founder. Snath. Grubber. Corncob. Tick. Candy corn. Jacks. Sunset.

I hope you had a good trip.