There is a sense of rest, of pleasure in the company of others. I’ve been many places, from foreign countries to week-long summer camps to the more familiar comfort of a friend’s home, surrounded by people I love.
None of them was home.
I remember the first time I knew that home was a place, not people for me quite keenly.
I spent a week several states away from home. We did important volunteer work and there was plenty of close bonding between participants. I felt safe and happy.
The moment I stepped off the plane on SFO, I drew in a great gasp of air. A shudder went through my body. I was home. I hadn’t realized how starved I was for place, for that perfect balance of temperature, humidity, character, scent, and texture that marked the spot I would return to again and again. I experienced a similar sense of home returning from trips over the years. When I left for college, I found that I slowly grew hungrier to return permanently to my home in the Bay Area. Though it meant moving away from friends and community and a great town, I eventually had to leave Olympia to move back home. The relief was immense.
Here, where I can get to the ocean, where fog rolls in, where the land browns in summer, where the hills roll, here is home.
How do you know you’re home?