i have been homesick ever since i went home to texas this last time.

it's such a particular emotion, homesickness. unhurried and unconfused. the compass needle pointing north, unrelenting in it's message: that thing there, go there. home. a small and quiet and unyielding chant.

it's not that i've been homesick for texas so much, but homesick for home in that large and aching way that has nothing to do with place and everything to do with people.

we're not from texas, my family. i'm the closest, having been born there. but my family, well we can't count back the generations the way a lot of people can.

there's me. just me. the lone one from that lone star state.

growing up there was always an awareness of being a little bit different--a little other. of being raised in a home in which texas and its values and its history and its culture wasn't in our blood.

and so there was this perpetual sense of displacement. of a loyalty to one's self more than the place.

a ferocious sort of independence.

now, looking back, i can think of nothing more texan than that.

the state and the place and that little sense of otherness branded me. texan, indeed.

my parents are looking to buy a house as they enter this next stage of life.

there's been a lot of talk about this house. about where it should be--beach or mountains, north or west. texas and.

and being the question that must be answered.

and then there's the talk of the bones of the home. of its configuration. of how many rooms are needed and should there be two kitchens and more than one floor and the real concern there is the families my brother and i will one day have. and the children--those small and noisy and heavenly creatures that i think we all really want to fill this house on holidays and long summer nights.

but we don't talk about this explicitly. and so the house is heavy with all those things not talked of.

i am homesick for this house. homesick for the life that has yet to be built to fill it.

this will be house in which i'll be married--beach or mountains, north or west.

my parents don't know this. i've never told them this. but i imagine they'll read it now and it will worry them.

my father because he'll say that i'm putting the cart before the horse and he'll be right of course, but i also think he'll understand precisely what i mean and what i want and why it is i want what i want without me ever having to say.

my mother will read this and it will worry that soft and feminine part of her that fears i'll never find the one. she will deny this of course--say this is not a worry she caries, but we both do--mostly because it is a want we both have--her wanting it for me, me for myself. and where wanting lives, worry trails.

i want to get married in this house.

i want to get married in that place where we welcome the next generation. in the yard where my children will one day play.

and i want to say to them as they romp and fall and stumble into each passing year--there--that spot there is where your father and i did the most courageous thing a person can do anymore. where we promised to weather the worst and the best of it. where we pledged, in front of family and friends, to trade in the fairytale for that delicious and dangerous thing that a real life is.

i am homesick for a thing that is but a wish i carry. but it is true and real and the needle points north.