Finding Where You Belong
What a powerful word! We all relate to it. We all have someplace we call "home". But what or rather where is home? Is it where we come from? Where we are? Or could it be someplace we've been? Somewhere we're going?
I have a feeling it's all of these.
My husband and I longed for a home by the sea for ten years before we were able to make that dream come true. We traveled to Savannah every year for a weekend get away. The first year we were ever able to take a week long vacation - a REAL vacation - we heeded the siren's call and we back to the city we loved. That was three years ago. I got a job while on vacation, found a house two weeks later, moved two weeks after that. Ten years, four months and a week or two and BAM! There we were. Where our hearts were. Where they are. Home.
I'm from metro-Atlanta and every time I go back to visit my mother, I go back home. She lives in the same house I grew up in. The first and only house she and my father bought together. It's filled with the ghosts of laughter and memory. The garden overflows with decades of tending. Muscadine vines clamber through pine trees and rain down fruit in the midst of storms.
Sixteen years ago I flew to Ireland. I'd longed for that far, green country since I was a little girl. The sky was overcast but as the plane cracked the clouds I saw a patchwork quilt of green. It was a very visceral response. I felt it in my gut. As soon as I stepped out of the airport and breathed in the air I knew I'd come home.
A longed for harbor.
A country I'd never been too.
All of these places are home to me. It has to be in our DNA. How can you walk into a city and immediately feel at home? How can a location tug at your heartstrings and beckon you in your dreams? How can you set foot on foreign soil and feel a stirring in your soul and know - just know - that you have finally found your way back home?
It would take a lot more room than I have for this post to postulate the genetics of place. It's a concept I've long contemplated and I'm sure I'll return to it again and again. Do we carry places in our genes? Do our cells quiver with the ancient lands of our ancestors? Was it my great-great-great-great-grandparents' essence that whispered to me as I felt the soft, Irish rain: "Welcome back?" If you're willing to delve into the esoteric and wonder at the mystic, I'm sure you could argue along with me that our bodies are far wiser than we are. If we only we'd listen deeper. If only we'd let our blood and our bones carry us home.