I read Lee Lofland’s blog this morning about an old woman who escapes from a nursing home, and all she says is, “I want to go home. I want to go home. I want to go home.” (I highly recommend reading it before you put makeup on.) It triggered the thought in my mind: What is home?
Billy Joel once sang, “Home can be the Pennsylvania Turnpike.” Trust me, we drove it from one end to the other this past weekend. Home is NOT the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Home is where the heart is.
Over the years I’ve become convinced that home isn’t a place. I’ve lived in a few different houses in my life, and I don’t feel that much of a connection to them anymore. I wasn’t upset when my parents sold the house I grew up in. I was more upset about the slaughtered deer in the back yard than about leaving my first apartment, the site of my first foray into independence and adulthood. When I moved out of the first house I ever owned–a gorgeous 100 year old mansion with 6 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and a ghost–I wasn’t that upset because I had a new life to look forward to.
On a cool spring evening in the house where we currently live, I took some knitting to the front porch and watched the world go by. Alex went out to ride his scooter, and the neighbor kids rolled with him on the front lawn ’til the ice cream man showed up. Relaxed in the fading sunlight, I felt like I was home. Such peace and contentment, like if they could solidify that moment in amber, I’d be fine.
For Fourth of July, we stood on the corner at the other side of the block and watched the parade (and they put on a great little neighborhood parade!). In that moment, laughing and smiling with my neighbors, feeling an intense sense of belonging to something bigger than myself, I felt like I was home.
Sitting next to my hubby in Citizens Bank Park with a lemonade and a hot dog, watching my favorite team play my favorite sport on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I felt like I was home.
Laughing my butt off with my bestest best friends at the NJRW conference last October, I felt like I was home.
Sitting in front of the computer, my fingers flying over the keyboard as the story drains out of my head, I’m very much at home.
Home isn’t a place. It’s a state of being.
John and I have done everything we can to make this new (well, “new to you”) house a home for the boys, but one day they’ll grow up and make homes of their own somewhere else, separate and apart from us. We’ve both called other places “home”, and even though moving was a b*tch, we very well might find another home in our lifetime. You never know what curve balls life will throw at you. The best thing about it is knowing that home is a moveable feast.
And to my sweet, hard-working, long-suffering husband of 6 years as of this Sunday, just like Billy Joel said, “Home is just another word for you.”