They say its where your heart is. Or that where your heart is, so then is home. There are two interpretations of that statement as far as I can see. The literal; that in which ever physical location your actual beating heart is, that is your home. Or the metaphysical; your home is where your heart lives – where your love lies.
Both can be true, I think, depending on circumstance. Technically, I am at home right now, where I sit writing this rambling, potentially incoherant essay. My literal heart is thumping away in its usual, rhythmic manner whilst my body occupies a seat before the computer at my desk. In my apartment. Surrounded by my (okay, our) things. I am, to speak in the most semantical of ways, at home.
But if you were to ask me, “Penelope Price, where is home to you?” I would most certainly not answer: “That brown chair in my apartment.”
Well, I might. Because I spend a lot (no really, A. LOT.) of time in it. Chances are, however, my answer would be something more philosophical.
“What a wonderful question, friend!” I might say, if I were a patronizing douche (which I fervently hope I am not, generally speaking). “Home can mean so many things to so many people! But for me, home is [redacted].”
I really like my apartment. I adore its location (mostly) and our neighbors. I quite like that Jack’s mother lives a matter of minutes away on foot. I absolutely love that Jack is there and that we are building our life together there. It is “home”. But…
Home is [redacted]. Not the suburb of Seattle I grew up in – though I still get a little misty when I see my mountain rising up from the mists on a foggy King County morning – nor is it any of the cities I’ve lived in here in Pennsylvania – though I have spent about five years here now. Home is the sleepy collegiate cow-town I moved to after High School. The town I have tried to escape a few times. The town that always draws me back. The town that I dreamt of raising little Jack Jr. in. The town where my mother lives, and my platonic soulmate, and my best friend.
That’s home to me. No matter where I live, where my ‘stuff’ is, or where I travel, I have never just felt home the way I do when I see the valley sprawling out before me. It calls to me with a siren’s song, “Come back to me, Penelope, come back…baaaaaaaack…” And I do. Over and over again. Hell, I wish I were there right now. And maybe one of these days, when I no longer have to rely on an income generated outside of the house, I will move back and raise my family there and let them spread my ashes into the ever-present wind and rest there eternally.
Because I believe that while I live wherever Jack and I lay our heads, and that my heart belongs to him, for me, home will always be defined as [redacted].
Love & Nostalgic Rainbows,
P.S. For the sake of personal privacy… and because the residents may or may not have chased me out with pitchforks and torches on more than one occasion… I’ve omitted the actual name of my home town.
P.P.S. The title is a quote from an American clergyman called Charles Henry Parkhurst and when I think of home, and how much I love home, I can’t help but think that even if he meant something entirely different… for me, its utterly true.