Finding Where You Belong

There it sits afar off, like a lighthouse beckoning a lonely sailor. It shines and sings and as soon as you see it you know you're there.

Home.

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.
My childhood.
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.

Comments

  1. Home is where your heart resides.
    I was a military brat, so outside of where I live now, nothing else is home.

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    1. Indeed. It's interesting, though, when you've never been somewhere before and when you finally get there, you find a piece of your heart waiting for you.

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  2. This was really thought-provoking. You made some wonderful and true points here. Home is not so much a place, I guess. But a destination, where you 'feel' comfortable. And that doesn't mean it has to be a forever home or a long-term home. I think our sense of home evolves as we grow.

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    Replies
    1. I love the idea of our sense of home evolving as we grow. And yes, it is a destination. Something we go towards and strive for and, I do believe, hopefully, finally arrive.

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  3. I know exactly what you mean. I always wanted to go to France and had a fascination with it since as far back as I can remember. But when I went there, I thought it was a beautiful place and somewhere I would like to visit again.

    When I went to Berlin, my entire being hummed with an indescribable kinship. And I would move there in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself.

    And yes, my ancestry is German for the most part.

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    1. How you felt in Berlin is exactly how I felt in Ireland. It was immediate, like being awake for the first time. I've longed for England the same way and I'm curious how it will be when I finally get there.

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  4. I could never feel at home in a city. I'm a country girl and waking up to songbirds and seeing deer in the backyard is home for me. I like to visit the seaside but I wouldn't want to live there.

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    1. Big cities are frightening to me. There's just too much going on. I love our little city, Savannah. There's a lot going on downtown but you can go just two miles away and you're in the quiet of the residential area where we live. Then you can drive about 20 minutes away and there's the Atlantic. It's a nice place to be in but there are times when I miss the mountains and wide open spaces.

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  5. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! And thank you for stopping by and reading :)

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