Fifteen minutes after leaving the last real signs of civilization, I turn into my drive. It has taken a lifetime to get here...East Coast, West Coast and everywhere in between. Rainy Pacific coastlines, dry high Rocky Mountains, flat Midwestern prairies, the humid forests of the Southeast and big cities of the Northeast. Having lived in many, many places I know this much...that I can make a home anywhere. But coming home, finding home, is different. It requires finding a place that takes you back to your childhood roots yet also reminds you of all those life experiences found along the way. Home then is a collection of meaningful experiences. For those that have never left their childhood home or who have come into home early in their lives, those special experiences are found in one place. But for those like myself who have lived all over, parts of home are found everywhere.
The road out front, with its canopy of trees overhanging, reminds me of my native Michigan. Pumpkins and scarecrows, hay bales and haunted houses dot the roadsides. Sports fans gathering in local pubs and stadiums, rooting for their local teams. Casual dress while out and about and time for talking with one another, both neighbor and stranger. Close friends and family nearby. This is part of the fabric of this new place I live in and also what I came from.
My life experiences took me to Oregon and Colorado where I got to enjoy the beauty of coastlines and mountains. I found community in a UU church in Georgia and through homeschooled friends in Illinois. I discovered the excitement of living near big cities while living near Washington DC and New York City. All of these experiences came together to ultimately impact who I am and what I look for in home. Those parts are here too. The beauty found in the local preserves and state parks, the community in my new found UU church, the "school" based in free learning my son currently attends. The access to the big cities of the Northeast.
This new place I live in has all of the required ingredients...reminders of my childhood and those places I have enjoyed along the way.
Dare I say I'm home?