I found this posted to facebook. What a neat word. It was a fitting follow up to a post my daughter recently added where she shared photos of her childhood home. She said she felt sad when she looked at a group of pictures in a photo album that had pictures of the house and yard.
I felt the same way at the end of my marriage when I realized that I was not grieving what I had lost, so much as what I had never had in the relationship. I feel it more though about the home we had to sell. The back yard was much larger than you would expect to find from the front and was surrounded with large evergreen trees, apple trees, lilac bushes and red sumac. In the side front there was an overgrown hedge fence that provided a cool afternoon shade. A large cottonwood tree graced the backyard with shade in the afternoon and it felt like a private sanctuary.
There were poppies that bloomed bright orange for a couple of weeks in the spring. The breezes made the flower heads bob and sway and they were a sight to behold. Occasionally I drive by to see what has become of the place. The current owners have cut out most of the trees, dug up the bushes and abolished the poppies. It has a properly manicured lawn now and lacks the personality it once had. Still, hiraeth perfectly describes how I feel about the time I spent there.