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  • Writer's pictureAnne Hodges White

"The flute reed remembers the marsh of its birth."

Where’s home for you?

Me, here: a dynamic attention brought to the moment, composing the writing-to-be as close to the impression as possible, allowing no thought—that officious intermeddler—to fill the space into which innocent material will be given, new, as if this moment has never happened before:

A rectangle of window is a light box against the dark wall, and then the icicles—milky, vertical waves of frozen motion, as long and sharp and wind-bent as scimitars. And further out, the snowfields, waves of white and shadow-of-blue-white, like crescent dunes under the wind. The suet feeder, snow covered and frozen, hangs just outside the window.

Perhaps blown into this northern latitude by the three-day storm, a Carolina wren—tiny and brown, and bunchy against the cold—pecks for breakfast. His spikelike claws grasp the wire cage. Talons as sure purchase against the wind. His body, feather-light and vulnerable. I consider his tiny heart.

He’s a spring and summer chirper, so no need to warm up the cold pipes today. There’s no call. If he’s still here this spring, expect his five sharp notes: high-low, high-low, high. He’ll end on a positive note. He’s making do with where he finds himself—a transplanted Southerner in New England; familiar to me—and I respect that about him.

Is he relocated by forces he cannot control? Is he lost? I recall Rumi: “The flute reed remembers the marsh of its birth.”

“Where’s home for you?” we ask people we meet, returning to ourselves, connected to our own longing.


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