Home

29 Aug

The other day Ben and I were out for a walk at night and we went by a stream and I sighed and said, “sounds like home.” His reply, “it is home.” He’s right of course, we were less than a mile from where my teddy bear Frosty lives (which is as good a definition of home as any.)

I know some people who have lived in the same area a large portion of their lives, maybe in that case, it’s easy to say where home is.

I’ve lived here over 5 years. This is where my life is at this moment. It is home.

I lived in Chicago for 2.5 years and it was where I couldn’t wait to get back to when I was traveling.

I lived in Ellensburg for almost 2 years in college, it was my town and I loved it.

Then there was the 20ish years I lived somewhere in Kitsap County WA. This is where I grew up, where I had my first kiss and first heartbreak. Where I learned to drive and read and climb trees and ride a bike. Where each summer I’d hunt blackberries for my mom’s cobbler and jam. Where I stayed up all night talking on the phone to my BFF Zeb and broke my arm at tap dance class. Where I hosted my first NGU event and celebrated Halloween at the church Boo Bash every year.

(if you’re doing the math and you think there’s some time missing, I lived in FL for a short time when I was little)

I have a picture of the Olympic mountains on as the wallpaper on my computer. Looking at the mountains is a bit of zen for me. The picture happens to be ‘my’ mountains, but any beautiful mountain or forest picture will do it. I have a closeup pic of the Unity Village cloverleaf fountain on my phone wallpaper which also is a moment of peace. (It’s the same pic that is the wallpaper for this blog.)

I realized a long time ago that pining over my dear mountains wouldn’t bring more peace to my life, so I don’t. But I can’t deny that I’m connected to the place I came from. Sense memories pop up at all sorts of times, like the other day with Ben when I hear rushing water in the woods, it ‘felt like home.’ Not diminishing this place as being special, but saying that it felt familiar.

Really, I think that’s what feels like home means. It feels comfortable, familiar, there is a sense of belonging.

While Kitsap is a precious part of my life, and I  enjoy visiting, it is not my home, it was. Especially now that my parents don’t live there anymore.

I went to the dictionary, this is what Merriam-Webster had to say:

Definition of HOME

a : one’s place of residence : domicile
b : house
: the social unit formed by a family living together
a : a familiar or usual setting : congenial environment; also :the focus of one’s domestic attention <home is where the heart is>
b : habitat
a : a place of origin <salmon returning to their home to spawn>; also : one’s own country <having troubles at home and abroad>
b : headquarters 2 <home of the dance company>

I find # 3 and 4 to be particularly applicable to what I’m talking about, it is familiar and/or a place of origin. What I said about Frosty earlier is truly as good a definition of what home is for me. Wherever she is, is home. Or as a million cross stitch samplers proclaim, ‘home is where the heart is.’

I just got the new Muppets Green album, another feeling of familiarity mixed with something new. There is a great song sung by Gonzo, one of my favorite lines is: “There’s not a word yet, for old friends who just met… or have I found my place.” Maybe that’s really what all this comes back to, when you find the place, it’s an old friend even when it’s the first time.

Or maybe home isn’t a place at all…

Here’s Gonzo and company:

May everywhere you go, feel like home.

Love,

Rachel

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