Home isn’t the majestic 10-acre property nestled in the middle of the redwood mountains; the mountains where I spent my childhood building forts in the summer fog and mud pies in the winter rain.
It isn’t the house on that property that I first came home to when I was two days old or the room in that house where I laid my young head every night for 18 years (the same room where my children now nap on the old rough, brown shag carpet when they visit Grandma and Grandpa).
Home isn’t the city of 30,000 people who I went to elementary school with, played t-ball with, passed by in the grocery store and whose own children now attend the same schools we did as kids.
It isn’t the property in that same small town that I saved for my entire adult life, poured my love, sweat, tears and savings into, all for the satisfaction of being able to say I own a home in the Bay Area.
No, Home feels more like the squeeze of my husband’s warm, strong hand as we sign over that same property which we once thought was going to be our “forever home”.
Home might be a house two states and 700 miles away, on a boring square lot in the middle of Suburbia, Idaho, where the only people I know are the people in the car with me.
Home might be the sound of our children racing up the stairs of their childhood home, stepping into their childhood bedrooms for the first time.
Home might be the feeling of freedom that washes over me as I finally understand what’s really important and I let go of those things that it turns out aren’t.
No matter the building I sleep in at night, whether my parents are down the hall, a 10-minute drive or a 2-hour flight away; whether my neighbors are ones I’ve known my whole life or perfect strangers who welcome us with homemade zucchini bread, regardless of the city on my mailing address or the state on my license plates…
Home is the embrace of my husband and the sense of love and safety I’m wrapped in whenever he is near me. Home is the smell of my children’s sweet, stinky heads and the tingles I feel when their soft little hands touch mine. Home is finally understanding who I truly am and making the courageous decision to live that life instead of the one I had blindly accepted.
Home is not a building or a place or a person. It is wherever you find yourself, when you finally find yourself.