What does "home" conjure for you? Simply free writing on a page beneath that word written in broad capital letters is a potent writing exercise in itself. Today, I drove through a piece of my hometown, eyes welling up at my closest childhood friend's driveway, at the stretch of sidewalk where I fell off my bike and nearly got run over, at the restaurant where I slogged through the worst summer job ever.
Gleefully, I told my daughter about the forest where I met the fairies for the first time in my adult life (they were happy to have me back). I did not point out my high school boyfriend's house or mention the church we thought we'd get married in some day.
I don't have a bed in this town anymore. My dad has moved four towns further out on the peninsula that held me from my first breath. Luckily, Cape Cod has great wide arms to welcome me "home," no matter what beach I land on. This piece of historic Route 6A in Barnstable will always lead the way home even if I have no fixed address along the way.
Now that I have survived the five-hour trip across Massachusetts and dipped down into our "real" home in New York's Hudson Valley, I can almost leave the tears behind. I can almost find the creative spark that hides amongst the yearning and the memories.
Gratefully, I can turn to one of the great mothers of American literature for three views through the prism of home. All true, all compelling, all addressing a different aspect of the complicated subject of home:
- "You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right."
- "The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned."
- "I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself."
Your turn... write into that simply stated "home" or use one of the quotes as inspiration. Consider submitting your story to the #365StrongStories project.