It’s good to be home…
Coming home means so many different things to me. It means seeing friends and family, visiting old haunts, eating actual southwestern mexican food. It also means settling back inside myself.
I get a sense of calm from being in my childhood home, a sense of belonging that is more complete here than anywhere else. It’s as if this house has seen all of my life, all the parts of me that have come and gone. The ideas and identities I have tried on and discarded along with those I have kept. This house has borne witness to the events that shaped me. It’s walls proclaim my successes, and skillfully fail to mention my failures. It knows me like nothing else.
Coming home to this house is like coming home to me.
This morning Monkey is singing to her Nama in the bathtub upstairs, the washer/dryer is running in the basement, an occasional zipper making a clicking sound against the side of the machine. The furnace is humming a sleepy “wum wum wum”, a sound I associate with cold weather and good books. The air is crisp and cold, and the house is quiet. All these sounds come at from the past and present, heard over and over throughout the years, each one a different step in my personal evolution.
Here, in this house that has housed my family for over 30 years, it is easy to be calm and quiet, to settle into the day and wait to see what comes my way. I don’t feel the need to go make something happen, I am content to simply be.
In our own house I have the sense that I am still building my “new” life, that nothing is quite settled or certain yet. Is that why I lack the quiet feeling of the house I grew up in? Will my new home feel as settled to me after I have been in it for 30 years or is this feeling available only from walls that have seen me from the beginning? Will my children come home to me when they are grown and feel this sense of completeness? When my parents pass on, will I ever feel it again?
There is something magical about having anything in my life that stays the same. Sitting here at the table I ate thousands of meals at, I listen to the furnace noises and remember curling up in a blanket with my brother over the vents on cold winter days. I remember my mother telling me to put some socks on ‘for christ’s sake’. I remember countless christmas and easter mornings, sitting on the top landing of the stairs with my brother, listening to the quiet house and the furnace while my parents dressed, eagerly awaiting the bounty below.
It’s good to be home.