Home can be anywhere for us, really, and it’s different for all of us. As I move further into my years on this planet, I’ve been reflecting on the concept of home, and of rootedness. Relatively speaking, I’ve lived in a lot of places. I left home at 16 for a beautiful boarding school in the deep prairie lands of Colorado, and then after that I began my journey into young adulthood, moving around a lot. Since then, I’ve lived in many different houses, a few different towns, and a couple different states. I’m back in California now, which is where I was born and (mostly) raised, and coming back here felt good, like a homecoming after many years away.
I’ve always been good at creating a home. Home to me is a comfortable space and people I love, and these are both things that I’ve been able to supply for myself in a wide array of places.
Lately I feel myself melting more into the place that I live, the landscape in which I’ve chosen to reside. I think part of this is my age, and I think part of it is me being in the right place. We have so many choices – the world is large. It’s likely that we have friends and families all over the country, and probably even all over the world. Maybe we’ve traveled to places we loved, that spoke to us, that linger in our memories. As children, we likely went to places that informed our beings and our spirits, inspired us to cultivate certain things in our own lives. I know I did, for sure.
I’ve also spent a lot of years imagining where else I’ll go, what other adventures are in store, what places I might live. But now, I’m 32. I have a 10 year-old child. I feel myself settling into the luxury of where I am, the slow simplicity of this perfect slice of the world. We have created a life of slow leisure, of love, of little league, of sunlit afternoons. We have a house that holds us, and beyond our walls we have a home: the pine trees and oak trees, the neighbors, the pool and the creek, the ridge and its sunsets, the highways that take us away and bring us home. There are people we love and routines that feel good. Home is all around us, seeping in through the curtains, pushing up through the dirt.
This morning in particular, I was thinking about this -- about how we become part of our landscape, how we melt into the places we live. In nature, there are multitudes of symbiotic relationships, divine reflections that baffle the scientific mind in their simplistic magic. We are part of this, too, the harmony and symbiosis, the subtle alchemy of elemental fusion. For me, this reflection comes on a sunny morning when the air is still crisp and the light pours in like a thousand memories from my lifetime and my lifeline. We can journey forever, there are so many places to go, but I think home is a choice, and a knowing. If we allow it and if we listen, we will eventually become part of the landscape and the land in which we live; we will move in cycles with what’s around us and our roots will thrive, feeding off our memories and dreams, anchoring us to an unshakeable center.
What do you think? What does home mean for you, and how do you know where it is?