“Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”
~ Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye
This feeling has left me contemplating home: the idea, the meaning of what and where and with whom home is. I joke that I am a "global nomad", a moniker even more fitting given the new path we have taken in the last year. I dread the question "where are you from?". My childhood was spent straddling the Irish Sea - each Summer and Winter was spent in the UK until I was 15, no matter where else in the world we called home for the remainder of the year. The first home I remember, for the first 6 years of my life, was in London, in a flat in the North of the city. I remember it as clearly as if I were there yesterday. It had an interior courtyard with a small garden, with low walls that I used to walk as if on a balance beam, Sue gripping my hand tightly when I felt unsure of my footing. My bedroom had multi-coloured star wallpaper, a bright window, and my beloved box set of Beatrix Potter books on the bookshelf. The very same books that are on C's bookshelf, in her bedroom now.
|Where I grew up in London. via|
|You can just about see our Rostrevor home in this photo, hidden in the trees. via|
|Vulcan, overlooking downtown Birmingham (or, the Magic City, as it's lovingly referred to).|
For me, home isn't necessarily a place. It's with the people I love and care about. It that feeling of being flooded with a sense of peace and comfort and security as soon as I am welcomed through a door and into the embrace of a person I love and hold dear. It's the safety of not having to explain yourself, letting any walls slip away and so you can just be you. It's a place where, although the people who once lived there with you may now be gone, the remaining friendships and memories are enough to make me feel completely at ease. I feel fortunate to have felt at home in quite a few places. But most importantly, it's comforting to know that I am at home when I am with the people I love. And as our global adventure continues, I think it's something I'll cling to more and more.