“You’re always seventeen in your hometown.” -Cross Canadian Ragweed, from the song “17.”
“You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” -Maya Angelou
I would be really surprised if the Texas Country/American Red Dirt/Country Rock band Cross Canadian Ragweed ever crossed paths with the poet/activist/author/songwriter/actress Maya Angelou. If they ever did, I wonder if each would even know who the other was. They came from widely differing times and places.
But, still, they had something in common.
A perspective on homecoming.
This week in Llano is Homecoming Week. A time to celebrate the Texas tradition of Friday night lights, football, old friends, marching bands, pep rallies, volleyball, cheerleaders, dance teams, and all the glitz and glory that comes bundled up with the coronation of homecoming queens and kings. Black and orange decor will bring the town to life. Banners and flags will fly. If all goes well, our community will celebrate a victory on Friday night.
If you dig through all of the window dressing, though, what is homecoming really about?
I would postulate that answer is a very individualized and personal one. To the parents of our high school seniors, I imagine it’s an emotional week. Another check mark on the list until their babies move away from home. To our underclassmen football players, it’s an opportunity to shine and make an impression on their coaches, fans, and their town. To our student body, homecoming is a time to strengthen ties and relationships with their friends. Maybe a time to let go of a few grudges or bad times. To our senior athletes and band members, it’s a time to come together and to cherish the bonds that have formed through the years. Bonds that will and will not be broken in the years to come. To our community, homecoming presents a time to celebrate youth.
Most importantly, homecoming is an excuse to come home and come together with old friends and acquaintances. Through the years, I’ve attended many of these for various school classes, teams, family, and organizations. Cross Canadian Ragweed is correct that relationships seem to freeze in time when these gatherings occur. We all seem to revert to or relive the person we once were. That’s who our friends expect to see. For better or for worse. Fortunately, with age also comes perspective. Most of us tend to forgive old grievances and remember things in a brighter light.
That is probably the true spirit behind homecomings. Return like you’ve never left and know that it was all right. Forgive. Forget the bad. Move forward in a positive way.
That’d make a homecoming celebration pretty special. Whatever the score ends up being.
Until next week, keep smiling.
-Comments can be sent to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.