I’m writing this in the basement of my parents’ house, enjoying the Wi-fi that we don’t have yet at my new house (which also explains the lack of new posts lately).
Two weeks ago, before The Great Move of 2013, I wouldn’t have called this “my parents’ house.” I would have just called it “home.”
At some level, it still is. Every other time I moved out, it was for school. It usually only took a few weeks before I started referring to my dorm or apartment as “home.” If I told my friends I was going home, that’s what I meant; but if I was going to my parents’ house for the weekend, I was going “home home.” I’ll still be doing my laundry at my parents’ house, and it is the hub that I and my siblings and their spouses and their children descend upon for holidays and family meals, so at some level it will still be “home home.”
But unlike the other times I moved, this time everything came with me. Bookshelves, off-season clothes, all the little “life-y” bits I’ve accumulated over the years–they all came along. My room here, in this house where I sit right now, isn’t really mine anymore. Soon, my parents will redecorate and it will become the room my nieces and nephews play in and sleep in when they come to visit. When I visit, I will have no room to claim as mine.
This is what is supposed to happen. Kids grow up, move out.
And then, the kids have to find out for themselves what “home” means.
There is an element of it that is physical, of making the house I live in now comfortable and somewhere I want and like to be. I want it to be the type of place where I can invite people over and that they will enjoy being.
“Home” is much more than mere physical space, though. It is a concept, a feeling that is often attached to the physical, yet so much more. The people you’re with can add to, or even become a sense of home. This is, I know, one reason I don’t know what home means for me right now–because my circumstances of moving out at this stage in life are not what I expected.
But maybe my concept of home has become too rooted in the external, and not nearly enough in the internal.
Perhaps feeling at home is a choice of making peace with my circumstances. Maybe it’s about learning to appreciate this season of life God has me in right now, even though it’s not where I would have placed myself.
Maybe “home” is about creating enough of a sense of it within me that I can carry it with me wherever I go.
Til next time…
p.s. What does “home” mean to you?