I used to think home was the three bedroom home I grew up in, the one with the converted garage to give each of us kids our very own room.
But then I left for college, and experienced freedom for the first time. Sure I had a rubber duck themed bathroom, but I was an adult. I had bills. I was free. (HA.)
When I finally moved back to my parent’s house I missed all the creature comforts I had enjoyed out on my own.
I missed my own sparsely filled fridge. I missed my knick knacks, my kitchen towels. All these tiny things that made me feel independent, that made my tiny apartment feel like my home.
I traded them in for a roof over my head, and one of those bedrooms I’d grown up in.
But suddenly that house seemed smaller than before, still it offered security I needed in uncertain times.
It came with a support system I needed, as I navigated my early twenties.
A few years later I left again.
And as soon as the boxes were unloaded I excitedly hung art and organized my cabinets. I picked a new shower curtain and bedding to reflect my changing tastes.
I felt settled. I was thrilled to be back on my own.
I missed my family’s company.
I missed people to laugh with at our favorite shows, to talk to after a hard day, to drink coffee with when I woke up.
I missed, love, what really makes a home. I missed sharing my life and space, even if it meant having a ridiculously crowded fridge.
My husband and I were only married five months before we decided to move.
Without jobs lined up, or a new apartment in a new city, we moved in with family.
And that was hard. Incredibly hard.
Once again I missed tiny things that had made our apartment feel special.
The dishes our friends gave us as wedding gifts. The tiny silver bells they rang at our first kiss.
Putting them in storage crushed my heart a little, even though they were just things.
They represented freedom, a fresh start, our beautiful beginning.
Boxes, and boxes, tightly sealed in grey duct tape represented a time of waiting. Another season of uncertainty. A blank slate stretched out indefinitely before us.
A giant question mark on our calendar, our timeline.
- - - - -
As the months have passed the grip those things have on me has lessened. I still miss them sometimes, my blue canning jars and our good colander.
But my heart is accepting a truth that can’t be boxed away.
I’m learning that home is what we take with us. Something thieves and rust and poor packing cannot destroy.
Home is internal. It’s what the Israelites took with them when they left Egypt, and what we took with us when we left Waco.
It’s what we keep with us even now, with the boxes in storage, and the future still unclear.
It’s peace that surpasses understanding and the promise of brighter days ahead.
It’s love that fills our days with laughter, and community, and coffee, shared.
It is life shared, under one roof, wherever that is.
Last week I discovered a lovely community of writers that participate in five minutes of free writing each Friday, each week with a different prompt, today's obviously being "Home."
You already know I LOVE alliteration, so I really couldn't help but participate in this great idea, FiveMinuteFriday.
Only I'm new to this "free writing" thing, and a very bad creature of habit, so I cheated a little.
The italicized words above (and everything after the dashed line) were added or edited after my five minutes was up. For goodness sake I felt like I should 'fess up to that.
Thanks for grace as I learn to self-edit a little less, and to trust my heart and typing hands a little more. :)