Recently, while perusing a friend’s blog for the first time, I came across a post she had written about what “home” means to her. It was a beautifully simple and touching post, and between that and current events in my own life I could feel the burn of impending tears as I reached the end.
My friend lives in the same town that she grew up in. Her family lives nearby, she’s got a wealth of history in the area, and her passion for this place that she knows so well is apparent. I live in the same town, but as it turns out, I’m a long way from “home”. The place that Wendy so eloquently described is, for me, 2,448 miles away. My family, familiar faces in the grocery store, life-event landmarks, and the like are now 3 time zones, 12 hours on a plane, 3 days on Amtrak, and a whole lot of corn fields away.
Still, I’m rarely homesick, and I think I know why. That version of home isn’t the one that belongs to me. That’s someone else’s home to have, and I’m happy to let them have it, because I’ve found my home too. Sure, there are moments when I ache to be able to bake cookies with my cousins, garden with my grandpa, run down to the local grocery store to pick up milk with my grandma, have a beer with my brother, or just chat about things with my mom. I could move back to Ohio and never have to have those moments again, but in exchange, I suspect that I would be terribly homesick. Homesick for “my home”, which I’ve been so lucky to find in the Great Northwest:
My home is feeling a passion for the community I live in.
My home is where I can grow my food all year round.
My home is the reminders from friends and perfect strangers that “you could thrift that”.
My home is having new people to share my trusty midwestern recipes with.
My home is cloudshine and drizzle.
My home is discovering local haunts with friends who know them well.
My home is where I build, create, and revitalize the things I care about.
My home is sending and receiving long emails with my family in Ohio.
My home is appreciating all of my family: near and far, old and new.
My home is baking things and knowing just who to share them with.
My home is never wanting to stop exploring.
My home is also having favorite standbys for the days when I’m just too tired to explore.
My home is preparing a great care package to send via snail mail.
My home is realizing I’m not as bad as expected at meeting new people.
My home is knowing people who also care about solstices and equinoxes.
My home is cuddling with my gentleman after a long day and feeling more content than exhausted.
My home is the potential for meeting so many new and amazing people.
My home is simple traditions with my first friend in the area.
My home is where my soul feels happy even when my eyes are prickly with tears.