Home is a cup of coffee in the sun

Where the doors are moaning all day long,
Where the stairs are leaning dusk ’till dawn,

Where the windows are breathing in the light,
Where the rooms are a collection of our lives,

This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is a place that I call my home
This is a place that I call my home

Cinematic Orchestra, That home

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be “home” recently, or to feel at home to be more precise. Eight years ago I left my house, my home, my country rather abruptly and moved to the States. We’ve moved around quite a bit here, staying in the same place for no more than a few years. As we settled down in new places, my sense of home expanded – and in the process has become fragmented as well.

Home is safety, comfort, mine. It is my most beloved and my family. Home is a sense of community, of belonging. Home is the smell of dogs and horses, cat hair on my clothes. Long walks with my dad, cooking food with my mom, stirring pots and pans or sitting on the counter while we talk. It’s a soft blanket and two cats next to me, talking through my days with B. in the hot tub. Home is a good book.

Home is driving with the windows open through the Golden State, the wind in my hair. The sun setting over the Pacific ocean, bathing the rolling hills in warmth. Home is with my rubber boots through the woods, feeling the seasons on my skin, biking through the rain. Home is a glass of wine and classical music by the wood-burning fireplace – the latter is hard to find in California, banned in all new buildings, but at least we have wine aplenty. For a time, home was a pueblo blanco in the south of Spain, with the space to detangle my life and find which threads to braid into something new. Home is where I can breathe easy.

I don’t see myself moving away from the West Coast (Best Coast), but I also, still, don’t feel like I fully belong. Moving around every few years, to a new city, new state, new country, hasn’t made it easy to grow roots. I have so many wonderful friends, but so few of them close by. We moved out of San Francisco a year ago, and the time since hasn’t been very conducive to meeting new people, seeing new places, finding moments of connection. This year has made the world small for many of us.

I feel lucky to have so much, a wide net cast over half the world that’s caught this many treasures. But home is not simple. Wherever I am, I long so deeply for the pieces of my heart that are not with me. I can have it all, but not all at once.

There is the voice you can still summon at will, like your mother’s,
it will always whisper, you can’t have it all,
but there is this.

Barbara Ras, You can’t have it all

One thought on “Home

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