WHERE IS YOUR HEART?

I was running errands in the area we used to live in. I needed to pick up a few groceries before heading home and decided to drop by the market next to the bookstore I was at.

As soon as I walked through the door, I was hit with nostalgia that I was not expecting. We lived in this area for seven years and still come back often- the mall is far superior than the one we now live near, for one. I miss living there, but

That feeling as I walked into that store, though. It was more than just familiarity; it felt an awful lot like home after you've been away for a little while.

I could recall, with great clarity, walking through the store once or twice a week when I was a mom to one. The aisles might have changed since, but I remembered them exactly as they had been; the baby aisle, the produce section, yogurt, bulk bins. I saw the carts that always seemed to stick together and the young employees who would watch me struggle to free one single-handed, trying to hold onto my baby. I remembered the older employees who would give us free mylar balloons.

I didn't end up looking for what I needed. I left fairly quickly, not wanting to sit and cry among people buying their spinach and vitamins.

As I drove home, I thought about just that: home. Home to my family and the walls that keep us safe (and okay, the ridiculous amount of locks because mini escape artists). We strive to make our home a refuge for our children- a place they can just be, knowing they are loved and accepted without conditions.

Home is the backdrop for many memories and life lessons, a starting point for our biggest dreams, a place to rest our head, to land, to love; and yet- why did the market have that undeniable feeling of belonging, recognition, and comfort?

To be cliche, if home is where the heart is, then home can be a great many places. Where I used to take this to mean that a home can be made anywhere, so long as you have those you care about most with you, I find it to also mean that home is not limited to brick, and wood, and shingles.

If home is where the heart is, home is the miles of road Jason and I drove while dating.

Home is the miles of trails hiked behind Jason. Usually quite a bit farther behind.

It's our first literal home- the condo we lived in for seven years; with rather memorable neighbors, and incredibly loud geese, and stories to fill bookcases.

It's the sidewalks and streets we walked every night.

The track that we walked one last time together, wondering just how much life would change once we got on that flight the next morning.

It is Detroit, twice; the city that will forever hold such large pieces of my heart and that I long to be closer to.
 
It is in the floors I have paced with babies; that I still do.

It is in being able to wrap my arms around the precious bodies that hold within them the most beautiful souls.

It is recipes that aren't written down, photos on triple backed-up hard drives, and stories we've retold to the point they might not be entirely accurate anymore.

It is the familiar places and relationships. It is the faces we know and look for in the places that are new.

Home is hope; hope is home. Hope of what is to come and a hope to not forget. Home is evolving, and perhaps never permanent; maybe not tangible, but stable and secure. We find it and we create it.

What is home to you?

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