Sometimes I don’t know what it means to come home, because I don’t always know where home is.
Officially, I’m what you would call a grown-up, so I should be able to answer this question by now. When I was a little girl, I believed a grown-up married, with children, along with at least one or two gray hairs sprouting from the top of your head, but now that I wear a ring on my left finger, have two tinies that trail behind me like baby ducks and find a new locks of wisdom every day or two, I’m not so sure.
But it doesn’t stop me from desiring an answer to this question.
There’s an element of coming home that exists when my husband and our boys and I hop on a plane and fly into Portland, Oregon, when we see with fresh eyes the greens and blues and grays that painted my childhood. I can still give you directions to my parents’ house, because these are the roads I learned to drive on, this is the town that formed me and shaped me and molded me.
And when we finally pull into Papa and Gaga’s house (as my parents are affectionately known now), even though so much has changed, I still know my way around. It’s still home.
The plastic measuring cups still hang inside the cupboard, to the right of the sink, and Mom still saves every plastic container, her version of Tupperware for the supper’s leftovers. The cedar bookshelves that Dad built in the late 80’s, tall and stoic and inviting, our family’s very own library, are still stuffed to overflowing, now with pictures of the grandchildren and favored novels and trinkets galore. Still, still, still. New and old mingle and mix and marry each other in a place I know like the back of my hand.
There’s an odd mingling that exists and comes to birth all over again when we pop in for a visit: I know and I am known. I know my way around the kitchen, and I am known by the humans who, like the streets of my hometown, formed me and shaped me and molded me.
Don’t worry, there’s more, there’s more! Click here to head on over to Circling the Story, to read about how I come home through a thousand different kitchens. Otherwise, what is homecoming to you? Where and when and why are you most at home? Have a great weekend!