But there was no home. Was there? Was home my old bedroom in my parents’ house blanketed by year’s past dusty memorabilia? Or was home that messy, cramped NYC apartment I shared with a roommate I couldn’t stand?
Uncertain? Yes. Unsure? Yes. Alone? Yes. I stayed in Durham, and it became my home. I lived in temporary places and then a permanent one. I met random, interesting people, and then I met Joe. I sampled a smorgasbord of jobs and settled upon independence. I married Joe. Now a garden grows, and a baby…
Interestingly, I now prepare to return home to the town in which I grew up. However, this time it is not alone. It is with a family, my family. But, how can it be that I am going home when I have to leave home in order to get there?
Today, at the cusp of transition, I feel far more at ease and at peace than I did during previous years. I am sure much of that has to do with the comfort of knowing that I am joined in my journey. The definition of “home” includes “the social unit formed by a family living together.” Does that mean I am home no matter where I live?
Well…The meaning of “home” also includes “one’s place of residence,” or “house.” Ok, so I guess I need a house too. Perhaps once we choose an apartment or house and move in, we will be home. Oh, wait. It must be furnished and decorated. After unpacking, furnishing and decorating we will be home. Right?
Yes, “home” is associated with family, feelings of safety and security, and a house. Our first home is the womb, and then our mother’s arms. During childhood our home is with our parents. During adulthood we seek to create a home of our own.
And there you have it… a journey home. However, home is beyond the geographic, and beyond even our deepest connections to loved ones. Home is a place inside of ourselves that houses the core of our spirit, and the depth of our soul. We spend our entire life searching for this… this innermost place. A family and a house bring us closer by opening us up to deeper levels of who we are. They are steps… steps upon our journey home.
As Glinda told Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz…
“Home is a place we all must find, child. It’s not just a place where you eat or sleep. Home is knowing. Knowing your mind, knowing your heart, knowing your courage. If we know ourselves, we’re always home, anywhere.”