H is for… home
The idea of home has always been a tricky one for me. This is a recurring theme for me (I may be a little obsessed with this notion).
Here’s a list of the posts I’ve written about the idea of home:
Writing Love Letters (in which I wrote a love letter to a tree in Melbourne)
So, what constitutes home? Do I pick where I was born as home, even though I could never get citizenship there?
Do I pick my ethnicity, my cultural history as my marker of home?
Do I pick my citizenship of a nation as home, even though I often feel othered?
Do I pick where I currently live as home?
When we moved to the US nearly five years ago, thinking it was a permanent move, I tried very hard to foster a sense of home. We got involved with community, we participated in events, we threw ourselves into life there. And I spent the four years we lived there, woefully missing “home”. I pined for the sights, sounds, smells of Australia. I wrote letters to gum trees. There was a frog in my throat as I sang Waltzing Matilda. I scoured YouTube for recordings of magpies and kookaburras. I bought every stick and leaf of eucalyptus I could find and put them in every flower arrangement in my house. I know… ridiculous extremes.
I missed my family and friends, but I also missed the familiarity and ease of living in Australia. I missed the laid-back lifestyle, the laconic wit, the unexpected friendliness.
Since we’ve been back, I’ve felt calmer and more comfortable than I have in some time. Perhaps living closer to the ocean has helped, perhaps it’s simply a measure of being “home”.
What’s home for you? What makes where you’re living feel like home? What do you miss about home so much that it brings you to tears?