What’s in a home? That which we call a home by any other name would be as sweet.
(Shakespeare, I apologize)
I think about the idea of home a lot.
I think it started when my family moved while I was studying out of the country and I came back to a house that was not my home. And as someone who attaches a lot of sentimental meaning to physical things, it was rather hard for me. As a child that house was my home.
But while I was away studying I found another. I found a home in Peru, with my host family, on the steep wobbly city streets of Cusco winding through the Andes Mountains. I was only there for six weeks, but in six weeks I felt like I belonged. I called them mom and dad and aunt and sister. They called me daughter.
A house is a house, but a home is something more.
A home can be anything.
Home is how when I talk to certain friends, I feel like myself.
Home is the smell of coffee that lingers on my clothes.
Home is a friend’s apartment surrounded by people speaking other languages. Drinking, eating, sharing, experiencing the world between us.
It’s a thunderstorm that is cold and quick.
Home is the early morning, we drink coffee, and read, and don’t say very much.
Listening to a song that is so tired and familiar that it feels like a friend.
Making a home is not something you can force, but in equal measure I feel like it is something you can resist. I held on to a lot of anger when we moved from my childhood home because I thought that it meant I was strong. That I was doing right by a place that I had cared for. But really all I was doing was being angry. It wasn’t productive, or strong, or meaningful.
Now I am happy where we live. It’s not the home that I remember from the Christmas’s of my childhood, where I learned to ride a bike, or ran back to with little feet black from the dirt and asphalt, but it is a home. It’s my family.
This is the season of thinking about things your thankful for. And today I am thankful for my family and their love which is much more of a home than a house could ever be.
Thanks for reading!