The neighborhood my family moved into when I was a freshman in high school had a purposeful abundance of baby Ash trees. Every front yard had to have two or more, and the main street in the middle was lined with them. I remember them being young and fresh, promising but slightly scrawny. They were weak during monsoon season but as soon as their leaves would fall, they would beautifully coat the winter rye with golds and browns before the landscapers would clean them up.
I wouldn't say I "grew up" in that house since I certainly had other roofs over my head that came before it, but it's what I think of in the traditional sense of Going Home. Maybe it's because I have so many memories there. Maybe because my parents still live there. Or because my old closet still has boxes of notes passed to me in class (before cell phones!), relics from prom or a bulletin board that still houses my driver's permit and high school photo ID.
My old room is now the sewing room, but I still can't go in there without the spirit of my past flooding my brain with memories of homework and heartache, uniforms and boy band music.
This morning when we dropped Penny off with my mom before work, I enjoyed driving into the gates of my old neighborhood being greeted by a tunnel of big beautiful Ash trees. When did these trees get so big?
When did I grow up?