After 7,062 miles on the road, I arrived at home.
For 30 days, I was everywhere and nowhere all at once. I was at home by myself, on the road, with my friends, in my car, in my tent, and with Charlie by my side. I was at home at the beach, with my toes sinking in the sand and the water lapping at my ankles. I was at home in the mountains, a tiny being amongst the giant trees. I was at home in the flurry of snow and in the warm embrace of the sun. Yet, at times, I felt as home-less as I could possibly be.
Thinking of all the places that I’ve called home, I started to wonder…what do they have in common? Is it the happy feeling when I am present or when home is on my mind? Is it the sense of safety and security I feel when I am there or with the ones that I love? Perhaps it is the oneness with nature or myself? Or, the sounds or tastes I experience in those places I call home? What makes a home, home??
The more I thought about it, the more I decided home is an abstract concept that transcends place and time.
Home is where the heart is…Home is the town where you grew up…Home is where your earthly possessions reside…Home is where your family lives…Home is where you rest your head at night…Home is where you pitch it…Home is a state of mind…
Some people say, ‘you can never go home.’ I disagree. Outside of memory, you can’t go back to a specific moment in time, but you can always go home.
I think the definition of home is relative and, also, fluid – changing over time, with the seasons or the direction of the wind. The house you grew up in – it is probably still there. Maybe it is a different color now; maybe the walls contain the sound of laughter from another family, making memories of home themselves. The trees are bigger, the yard is smaller, the swing set might be gone. But the house is still there and it is still a home. Not just for the new family, but for you too – except your version of home lives in your memories rather than at that address you know so well. Home changes.
Whatever it is, wherever it is, I know I am there. This is not my only home, but it is my home for now. For this moment, this chapter, this season.
In my mother’s arms, I am home.