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Jedidiah Jenkins on Home

Guest Contributor

 Many thanks to Jedidiah Jenkins for sharing this piece with us, which first appeared on his instagram page @JedidiahJenkins

Many thanks to Jedidiah Jenkins for sharing this piece with us, which first appeared on his instagram page @JedidiahJenkins

I went looking for my childhood yesterday. Her name was Zephyr.

My mom needed help when we were little so she ran an ad in the local newspaper. A little old lady responded. Zephyr, an old widow who lived alone on a one lane country road. She had never had children. She treated us like we were her lost grandchildren. I can hear her southern accent right now as I type. I can feel her warm soft hands as she held mine.

I spent many many days and nights at this little farm house. She would make us sugar cookies on her wood stove and take us out back to pet the neighbor's horses. I was five or six and everything was taller back then. The horse's nose was at my head and my arm was up to hold Zephyr's hand. Now that I am grown, I don't know how tall she was. I think she was very small.

I had a vague memory of that little house so @ruthielindsey and I drove an hour into the country to find it. We turned down roads that seemed abandoned. Old farms and barns and creeks and cows. There it was, falling apart and forgotten. A tiny house heated by fireplaces and full of my memories.

I grew up and went off to college and Zephyr died, quiet as she ever was. I was far away and didn't get to say goodbye. Her house is now forgotten, with no laughing kids, only vines and bushes growing up around it. As if to consume it. As if the house served its purpose and is now resigned to die.

My little bare feet running in the grass. I can remember so well.

Jedidiah Jenkins (@jedidiahjenkins) is a travel writer and the Executive Editor at @wilderness mag. He lives in Los Angeles, CA and is currently working on a book about his trip from Oregon to Patagonia.

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