“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”
― James Baldwin
|Be it ever so humble...|
Home. I spent the vast majority of my life attempting to understand what it was about this word...home...that made people want to go to it, miss it, return there or remain there.
Tonight, I felt it. Actually, I've been feeling it for a while now. My address has been the same for almost 13 years...a record times 3+. For many years, even though every single box was unpacked, this didn't quite feel like home either. But something changed.
I spent my life pursuing safety. I escaped to safety as a child in the pages of books. Somewhere else. Anywhere else. When I became an adult, I fled still to escape. I escaped the feeling of being trapped by getting into my car and driving out into the world until I was so turned around I had to rely on maps to get me back. I escaped my own unhappiness that I had created through a series of choices, wrong turns and wayward thoughts. I escaped who I thought I was and who I felt myself turning into.
Until, one day, I stopped.
I began to spend entire days...at home. I would wake up and putter around the kitchen, making coffee. I swept and cleaned, lovingly. I watched Thing 1 and Thing 2 bouncing on the trampoline and found an unrecognized smile affixed to my face. I began seeking reasons not to go but to stay. And at the end of long work days, I looked forward to returning to my place of rest, of restoration.
I came home tonight and spent time digging in my garden, feeling the earth slip through my fingers while somehow binding me to it. I unhurriedly put herbs and vegetables into the ground and sang while I dug my toes into the cold ground. Thing 1 bounded out, leaped over the deck railing and ran over to where I sat happily planting. I looked up at him, with the house looming over us in the growing darkness and I smiled.
Home. I get it now. And I know I'll take it with me when I go.
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