“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” ~ George Moore
As November winds change direction and the air becomes crisp, I am reminded that my homecoming is just around the corner. Making the six hour trek back to my old stomping ground is no easy feat, yet I know that what awaits me is worth the painful drive. Salty air, iced coffee and New England traffic welcome me with widespread arms. My childhood bedroom with baby blue walls and clothes strewn across the wooden floor have been waiting for me. The ocean drives, evening walks, and coffee dates with friends are calling my name. There is a guarantee of deep discussions with my mother, laughter with my father, and bickering with my sister ahead.
Coming home feels so good. Even just saying the words leave a sweet taste on the tip of my tongue. The back roads are familiar and each face I pass has a 50% chance of being someone I used to know. Coming home holds the promise of clarity. All of the drama, work, and tension that have crowded my brain over the past few months dissipate as my car takes that familiar left turn onto the street I know like the back of my hand.
This week I will go to the beach to soak in the frigid, sharp air. This week I will go to the town library to read a book for an hour or two. This week I will catch up with friends and family. This week I will remember where I am from and who I am. Home is where the roots of my soul are grounded, burrowed deep under the basement floor, forever attached to the earth. I grew up in this house; twenty one years of running down the staircase for Saturday morning pancakes, riding my bike in the cul-de-sac, and rearranging my bedroom furniture. I might have taken it all for granted, but I certainly do not now.
More often than not it takes moving away to truly appreciate the place you once were. We should not forget where we are from, the family that raised us, and the walls that kept us safe. Dorothy knew best when she coined the term “There is no place like home.”