If I could go back, I would go back to waking down Nan’s dirt driveway to the creek. I’d go back to singing Trisha Yearwood and swinging in the backyard. I’d go back to the small bookstore where I found Anne of Green Gables. I’d go back to summer nights catching lightning bugs. Or a rainy night in that small kitchen where we made cookie dough and used red plastic cookies cutters to shape them into farm animals.

I’d go back to when life was innocent. When I walked barefoot in the grass and where I spent magical summertimes in Tennessee, collecting fossils and picking wildflowers and twirling on the back porch. I’d go back to yard sales with mom and watching Saturday morning cartoons with my brother. I’d go back to playing with our dogs in the backyard and jumping on the trampoline and helping dad water plants.

I’d go back to family nights at the park when we’d fish. I’d go back to going to work with dad and him stopping at the gas station to buy me powdered donuts and chocolate milk, and when I’d bring a backpack full of Barbies. I’d go back to mom driving us across the country from Arizona to New Mexico through Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas and finally getting to Tennessee, taking the scenic route through small towns. I’d go back to walking into Nan’s house when we arrived and seeing her excitement and greeting us with a big hug. I’d go back to waking up and looking out the guest room window, seeing the fog and dew lay on top of the grassy field. I’d go back to when I didn’t worry, when I just soaked up every moment. When my little self just took in the beauty of it all.

Sometimes, on nights like tonight, I go back to all of it.