Saturday, September 1, 2012

Home

I'm sitting in front of the granite slab table in the kitchen.  The house is quiet.  My wife sleeps soundly in the bedroom upstairs and the kids are at their grandparents.  We went to a wedding last night.  The sort where you really don't know most of the participants.  Yet we left well past midnight. The sun is now rising and my restless body has dragged me into the shower and down the stairs to breakfast. A bowl of cold cereal sits to my left side, and I tap at my mobile, browsing through my twitter feed.  Even my tweeps are lethargic on this still Saturday morning.

Ten years ago I moved into this house.  Katie and I painted nearly every wall.  I remember when we brought Cameron home.  Three years later, almost to the day, Leila arrived.  Over the last decade we have filled the four bedrooms comfortably, finished a basement, and done countless repairs and upgrades.  And at some point the wood and concrete, plaster and metal became a part of me.  Our roots intertwined.

I never got over my childhood home.  The home in which my father lived and died.  We inhabited that space thirteen years before my mom remarried and we moved to an adjacent community. 

At the time, the sense of loss was overwhelming.  Not necessarily the change in friends or school, but the safety and familiarity of the walls that surrounded me.

Years after leaving, I had the most vivid dream.  I was back in my childhood home. I quickly became aware of the fact that it wasn't real.  I knew I was in the throws of a deep sleep and that I would awaken soon.  So I consciously resolved to wander the halls one last time.  I surveyed each room carefully trying to recapture the depth and breath of emotional that each space held.  And then I said goodbye, and awoke to my present reality.

That's when I realized that "home" is not a physical place, but better yet a construct unwittingly created in each of our minds.  Maybe like deja vu it is the fleeting sense of familiarity but also laced with an overwhelming dash of safety and remembrance.

But somehow sitting alone in the kitchen this morning as the sun rises, I realize that these artificial barriers help frame me.  My love, my children, my countless books and pictures.

I am home.

1 comment:

Doc Nieder said...

I'm sitting next to the granite slab in my kitchen and smiling with your words. My kids are older, young adults doing exciting things, and I am still enjoying this old house we've spend so much time and money making our home. Thanks again for another blog that touched my memories as well as my "now".