This week, the idea of home keeps popping up for me. Whether it be in podcasts, in my own feelings, or in the TV show I’m currently watching…it just feels like the universe is trying to send me a message or something.
Home is something that’s fascinated me, but also totally evaded me at times.
I think the reason I’m so drawn to it is
because I’m human because I moved around so much growing up. Until I was 8, home was in Jerusalem. We had a lovely stone house with a bedroom for each kid. My mom had the kitchen just as she liked it. We had a basement with a computer set up. We all (except for my dad) thought the staircase to the basement was definitely haunted. I had been in the same school with the same kids my whole life (though technically we only moved to Jerusalem when I was 11 months old). There was no question in my mind where home was at that point.I mean, I still remember crouching behind the sofa when the evil queen, in the form of the old woman, handed Snow White the apple. That lady scared me.
And then when I was eight we moved to Arizona, the state of my birth. It was supposed to be temporary. Just three years and back to Israel we were to go. But things change. And almost twenty years later (sheesh) my whole family, including siblings with their families in tow, is in the United States. For the first time since 1998 we are all in the same country.
And yet as I grew, and we moved, again and again, my concept of home grew shakier. At first I thought it was my family, but we kept leaving members behind. My two oldest siblings stayed in Israel when I was eight. My middle sister stayed in Oregon when I was eleven.
And then, when I went off to college in Pittsburgh, my parents moved house again, across the country, from east to west.
While my friends went home most summers, usually to an internship they picked specifically because of its proximity to home, I went off to whatever place suited me, first Seattle then Long Beach, CA. When my friends started looking for work, they knew where they wanted to be. They knew where home was. I had no idea. My search was wide. I felt like I could apply anywhere. And yet the sheer number of options almost led to complete paralysis. I ended up in Michigan. Working in an industry I had dreamed about for nearly a decade. And slowly I started building connections. Yes to the people, but also to the place. I remember the first time I was looking forward to landing back in Detroit and thinking, I guess this is officially home now.
But really, that lasted only three years. Now, I’m in a new city. For the first time since college I live near my family. But to be honest, that doesn’t really add to the feeling of home for me.
I moved to a new house recently, and each time I walk into my space, I smile. There is one space that especially speaks to me.
When I open the door, it’s the first thing I see, being in the corner directly opposite me. There’s an arm-less arm chair staring right at me. It’s light gray with white branches and leaves patterned on it. On its back, on the right, drapes a light blue blanket. Directly behind the chair is a skinny, black standing lamp. It’s styled like a reading lamp. To me, it reads nerdy, purposeful. As the arc of my gaze continues left, I come upon one of my favorite quotes posted on the wall. It’s Van Gogh, a man’s whose life never ceases to inspire me. And finally, my eyes land on a small yellow bookshelf. It’s the perfect size for holding exactly the number of books I own, and making sure I stay picky about the books I choose to keep.
Every time I open my door and my gaze falls right to that corner, I smile, I go in, I light a candle. I sit down, crisscross my legs, shimmy my butt so it find its spot just so. I lay the blanket across my lap, open a book, and suddenly find that I am home.