I have used the phrase many times in the past. You have probably read it here before! Recently, as I have traveled quite a bit and it is always a difficult transition back the normalcy of life, and in the past, as I remembered times gone by. Although memories remain, things can’t ever be the same, but then it never really can be the same, only similar, if it is passed.
I am headed back ‘home’ to where I grew up, a friend called to say my childhood home is on the market and he was going to set us an appointment. I was excited, preparing for the flood of memories that was sure to remind me of the good ‘ole days. As I checked the real estate website, I noted it was already under contract, so barring a pleading “I used to live here” chances are good I won’t get in.
I checked the images available and was surprised that although many changes and updates had been made, I could still recognize the place through the eyes of memory. Yet, something seemed wrong. and I couldn’t put my finger on it… I counted again and realized that my bedroom was gone! Somewhere along the way a wall had been knocked down to enlarge the master and with it went my space, my sanctuary. The cocoon where I spent hours reading and dreaming and yakking about boys. I was despondent, how could they take that from me. I grew up in that room, became a woman, an adult and moved away from there- out on my own. I laughed, I cried, I loved, and lost, all while living in that room.
Well, at least I no longer had interest in going in to the old house. I couldn’t now.
Home is a word that means a lot of things. It is a place that lives inside us all. A place where we feel safe and comfortable. It is a feeling. And I know when I get back to this town, my best friend will be waiting. He has offered me sanctuary in his home and even though I’ve only been to this place a few times, he is the one that spent many hours in the room that no longer exists. The one that simply sat beside me as I cried about boys, the one that told me I had spinach in my teeth or I shouldn’t wear ‘that’. The one after 40 plus years is still sitting beside me listening to me and realizing things don’t change much after all.
I have lived in many houses and many places. I am a nomad of sorts, and the benefit of that is, I am comfortable in most places. I can always find home in the smallest of comforts. The familiarity of a warm hug or the whiff of a long-forgotten scent, but nothing is more comforting than the home of being with my son, the home of my beloved’s arms, the home of my friend’s laughter, the home of my memories. The home that resides deep inside of me.
Where I am residing in the States, is a place I live, but I do not refer to it as home. It is more of rest stop along the way to somewhere else. A place to refuel and stretch out the kinks before travelling down the road again. I can’t imagine that I will ever stay still for long, but if I do, it will be not because of the new house I have bought, but because I am finally home.