The Homecoming by Carlos Najera

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After being away for forty years I have returned to Oxnard, to the town of my childhood. In 1918, when I was a boy in school I would awaken very early and listen to the lonesome sounds of the train whistles as they crossed the valley. The painful moan of the train  sounded like weeping.

Back then I made friends with those locomotive engines and I knew each one that passed by. Each of the whistles were different. I knew them well and they were my friends.

Another lonely sound that was my companion came from the lighthouse at Port Hueneme, about 3 miles from here. The  lighthouse started to spread her light beam in the early evening and I would stand in the patio of our house and watch the beam of light make its circle and briefly erase the dark.

When the fog came in I could hear the horn as it spread its warning out to sea. The darkness and the gray fog would cover the valley and everything was lost. It became a strange unknown world and I was afraid to take a step, I was afraid I would fall off the edge of the world.

I would feel the moisture in the sad silence. I felt bewitched as if I was a prisoner in a cell with no windows. All was lost and everything disappeared within the deep mist.

My childhood memories were broken up by the sounds of traffic speeding past my motel window. The spell was broken. Traffic was a sound we didn’t have back then.

I was back in the Oxnard of today, but I was not back at home.

 

1983

 

 

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About jedwardnajera

I am a Poet. I live the life of a poet. I am an artist, a member of Gallery 9 in Los Altos, California. I published a novel Nena the Fairy and the Iron Rose, available through Amazon Books. I spent over thirty five years in a classroom. My father kept a living record of his lifetime as he lived through the Twentieth Century. He was born in 1908 and almost lived long enough to see us enter the new millennium. He was a mechanical engineer and had a wonderful love of history and science. He entrusted to me nearly 400 pages that he wrote through the years. He wrote in Spanish and I have spent six months translating these pages into English. Now I am in the process of editing, rewriting, and revising them. I am trying to post a new entry or chapter each Friday. Check in on us at least once a week for the latest post.
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