Guess what! We are home. We looked at over 80 houses. We put offers on five. We spent eight months of our lives trying to find the right house and we finally found it. The market in Seattle has been crazy. We would make an appointment to look at a house three days after it went on the market, and then find out there were already several offers. Once we put an offer on house and didn’t hear back from the listing agent for two days. After our agent was finally able to track her down… IN HAWAII, we found that the house was already sold. There were fights, and disappointments and even a few tears shed. It was exasperating. But finally after all the heartache, we are now moved in. The boxes are unpacked. The kitchen is organized. Everything is in it’s place.
Today as I scrubbed the grill plate over the gas stove to make it shine like the day it was born, I had a thought. It was kind of a lonely thought. It was about home and family of origin and how time flies so much quicker with each passing year. This sense of home that I remember so clearly from my childhood sometimes seems so hard to grasp as an adult. So I spent some time today thinking about the concept of home. I decided it’s a bit like when the Supreme Court tried to define pornography in 1966. (Stay with me here.) They decided it’s very hard to define….but we all know what it is when we see it. And I wondered… Why is the concept of home so concrete when we are nine but elusive and ethereal when we are 49?
Certainly much of it has to do with memories and how they change over time. We humans compartmentalize our thoughts and our memories. We like to organize our memories into binary bytes in our brains that are good/bad, black/white, yes/no. It’s very hard to categories the “I’m not quite sure how I felt” part of our histories. So perhaps we change our memories to make them, just a bit more… categorizable. The home from which you once even contemplated running away, morphs into a warm inviting place in the corners of your mind. As a result, we tend to remember the good without the bad and spend much of our lives trying to get back to that place.
How do we get back to that place called home? The answer is we don’t. Not the place we remember anyway. You see that place doesn’t really exist. Well it exists in your imagination somewhere between Santa Claus and six-pack abs. Like most good things in life, home is something we work towards. We create it with those we love. We nurture it and knit it together with our friends and family. “Home” is something we build.
I read a phrase once, or maybe I heard it on TV. It was something about encouraging parents to “waste time” with their children. I really like the idea of wasting time with those we love. I think about that with my spouse often. How can we waste time together? If you knew my spouse, you would know he doesn’t waste time. He works. He organizes. He plans. But, he doesn’t waste time. But there is this particular look he gets when we waste time together. He lets go and plays like a child. It’s a beautiful thing to behold because I know he didn’t get to do much of that when he was young.
So that’s my HOME…my spouse, my family of origin, my friends. May I nurture it more and more with each passing day!
What is your home like?