Home once again. Is home truly where the heart is? Is it home because of the people, or is it remembered experiences that make it solid, worthwhile? The esoteric way that memories spring forth, responding to the call of myriad tactile associations that only the subconscious can process. I wonder, can animals feel a sense of home? I have to reintroduce myself to my family’s cat every time I return, so obviously for her, home is, if anything, separate from the other creatures that inhabit it. For her, it is a territory; a space.
Maybe it’s the interaction of all the above that creates that feeling of home. Whatever it is, it seems to be a universal human longing. Odysseus, the brave warrior of Homer’s The Odyssey, was driven by his desire for home. It was the only thing that could tear him away from the allure and spells of the goddess Circe…that and Penelope, his wife, of course. There is something compelling about having a place to call one’s own and many a man (and woman) has died defending the ideal.
So…here I find myself. Home once again. Home in Marion: a place I have never actually lived. It’s a new home and less a place that I live than a place that I feel that mysterious, palpable emotion of wellbeing we so often associate with home. I braved awful Chicago Christmas traffic to make it here; to be home with my family. All is as I left it and will continue to be so long after I have returned to the two bedroom apartment I now call home with the friends that have become my surrogate family.
That’s it…no applications, no pretenses, no insights…just home. It cannot be described and I won’t venture to try. There’s just the experience of home and the experience can only be felt. It’s best just to savor it with all the beautiful moments that will coalesce in the mists of future memory.