For so many years I’ve experienced a soul-wrenching, gut churning painful type of sadness. It has left a hollow in my heart and a hunger in my belly. For reasons I may never know, I’ve lived with it and struggled with it for as long as I can remember. It seems that one of the many possible answers for my ailment is a firm sense of home. As long as I can remember, I’ve always attributed it to being a place. A house, or a city. A place you can come back to, time and time again, knowing it will be there for you when you return. So often, this place has been with my mother. Regardless of where I get swept off to, I always have a warm bed and a safe haven within the walls of my mothers house. The more I age, the more I realize that the concept of home is fluid, in the sense that you can attribute it more to a feeling, rather than a place. This ensures its survival among all the terrors and misgivings of life. This feeling can evolve, no doubt. It can change among the years, and as you age. But it is no doubt, the same place that you’ll return to at the end of each and every day.
I’m 10 years old. I have a pet hamster named Ned. I share a bedroom with my mother, separated by a dusty white sheet. This is our home. This is where we spent less than a year. We have a dog named Red. A roommate named Lindsay, who came with bags packed and a cat named Fred. It was a small condo, a stones throw away from my school. It had old carpet, and a piano in the front room. This is where my mother made chilli, and played piano. This is where she studied for school and took me to the park. This is where we read, we laughed and we ate.
I’m 17 years old. Although in the same town, my mother has moved into a new home. This home came with a yard, and a rickety fence. Peeled paint. All the rooms in this house are a different colour. Orange for the sitting room, chocolate brown for the bonus room, yellow for the upstairs walls, blue for bedroom 1 and red for bedroom 2. The windows are large, sunlight floods all the rooms, when it rises from it’s nightly slumber. This was home, for many years. Two children came into to the world into this house. Tears were shed, laughter was shared and love was realized, in the most sincere, genuine way.
I’m 20 years old. I’ve fallen in love for the first time in my entire life. This was home. This love, this spark. The day began and ended with this love. The kind that wraps your soul and leaves you burning for more. It was within his house, and his arms, that I found myself home. Accepted, encouraged. Loved. It satisfied my soul in an indescribable way. Two years later, home left. Packed it’s bags in search of something new. Someplace different. One year later, I left with it. Broken down by disappointment and personal resentment. His best, was not good enough, and it broke my heart. Home became something different then.
I’m 23 years old. I’m in a white bed with purple sheets. In my mothers house. The same house as before. New fence, no more peeled paint. New cupboards, same floor. We sit outside and share cigarettes under the moon. Faces dark in the night. The sound of my mothers voice carries me to the feeling of home. It’s back again. Although my sadness still rests within my heart and my belly, I know I’m home. Again. For the 10th or 11th time. I’ve found it again. It may leave, and if it does, I’ll follow it, in a never ending search.
Home. Where we all come to at the end of the day. The sound of someone playing the piano, the smell of coffee. Lemon water. Books. Laughing children, the sound of the bell on a bike. The smell of a breeze that’s travelled many miles. Soft music, funny sitcoms. Peace, calm and contentment. It is what it is, and it will always be.