I can’t get used to this idea of moving. Slowly, on purpose, I erase my presence from a place, a place I called ‘home’. Then I take all the boxes that are filled with the bits and bobs that make up my sense of presence, my sense of belonging and I take them somewhere else. When I get there I take out my bits and bobs and arrange them in the new place in the hopes of creating a sense of home as I do it.
I know someone who comes from Cyprus. She’s said that nobody moves in Cyprus because there’s nowhere new to move to. No packing. No bribing friends with mediocre pizza and beer. No standing in a new place, surrounded by boxes, wondering where to begin and when this will feel like home.
Home. It’s an indefinable feeling that most people still know when they have it or don’t.
Home. We use the word so frivolously, often without thought of what we’re saying or what we aren’t.
From the time that I was 6 months old to when I was eighteen I lived in exactly one place. I didn’t so much as visit anywhere else for longer that two weeks except for the summer I spent in Peoria when I was 16. My world bent during that summer. Suddenly, I’d lived somewhere else. Suddenly, somewhere else felt kinda like home.
What do you see when I say, “Your backyard”? Shortly after I moved here to Illinois I walked out on the back deck and looked into the yard next door. I saw a gazebo and a large black dog which startled me because I was expecting a swimming pool and a Saint Bernard and boxer, both named Max. I felt so much at home, so established in the identity of this backyard as being ‘mine’ that I expected to see next door in Erie, what I’d normally see when I felt that much at home.
Last year I had the experience of getting in my car and forgetting where I lived. I’d moved out of Seth and Crystal’s house, which no longer felt like home, and was house-sitting for a month and a half before moving in with my brother Jonathan before moving in with my husband Jonathan. This apartment that I’m living in now has felt like home, has been that place of shelter and rest, long before I moved in March 3rd. Ask me about my backyard and I’ll get confused because the apartment doesn’t have a yard. This place is where my heart rests.
And come Saturday we’re leaving it with no intention of ever coming back.
We have good reasons and I’m excited about it. So long as I’m confident the heart tie of ‘home’ will move with me, I like new places and new things. I’m excited for Saturday and all the joy of bribing friends and wondering where to start. But my heart feels nervous, like it doesn’t believe me that I will provide another place for it to rest.
I pet it gently and tell it to be still. All will be well. Jonathan is coming with us this time. I am confident that together we can make a new place to rest, a new place to call Home.