Everyday Inspiration. Day Three: One Word Inspiration. HOME

*Note: this post is part of an Everyday Inspiration 20-day writing prompt program I’m participating in. Today’s Prompt: One word inspiration. HOME.

My truck’s nav system has a handy shortcut feature on its screen. Hit ‘home’ and it’ll map out a route to send you there. Nice feature, if you can remember where ‘home’ is. I’ve moved six times in as many years, and hitting the ‘home’ button on a nav system is likely to be an address or two past due.

But that’s not really the point. Or perhaps it is…

During the not-so-merry-go-round of multiple moves from Seattle to Jersey to Philly to Boston, a new definition of ‘home’ has begun to take shape. Not a shape sprouted from architectural renderings, mind you. No, home is not simply some lifeless structure with four walls and a few weeds or where I currently lay my head at night. It has little to do with which closet I pluck a well-worn hoodie from, what familiar countertop I fire up my turbo-engined Vitamix upon, or which surrounding windows rattle as breakfast grinds into a smoothie I enjoy atop a Crate & Barrel bar stool that’s followed me through six U.S. states.

home on my mat. 2013.

home on my mat. 2013.

No, home isn’t inanimate. It’s alive. Home is a feeling I get when wherever I am, I know I’m welcome. That could be atop that Crate & Barrel bar stool at my kitchen counter, sure. But it could also be halfway across the world nestled in a tapestried banquette at a Barcelona coffee shop, as it was last summer, when after charade-ing my way through a cappuccino order, a lovely barista welcomed me home with a frothy hearted concoction and smile that said: Stay. Make yourself at home.

Example by life example, I’ve learned that home resides in my heart, and is fueled by love. Love for others, love from others. It took me some time in my 20s and 30s to recognize that going home doesn’t necessarily feel like home. And I’ve dwelled in a few homes to salivate over. A ‘home’ with a beach just steps below and blue herons circling up high. A ‘home’ with a central gallery – yes gallery – roundabout driveway and wine cellar big enough to mask the two-buck-chucks needed to fill all the racks. Nice homes, yes. But a period of heavy heartache kicked me to the curb without a key.

Falling in love again six years ago at 41, with an amazing man, and more importantly, with myself again, led me back home. To several places. Some with a front door, others without:

  • Bigelow. A one-year rental I crammed an estate’s worth of black lacquered Fortuni-upholstered chairs into an 800-square foot jewel with views of Seattle’s Lake Union in. A year re-learning the art of independence, eating Grape Nuts for dinner because I could, falling in love with my now husband.
  • My orange Jade yoga mat. A single decision to come back to a long-dormant practice has since turned my yoga mat into a welcome mat. Moving and breathing on my mat is a direct route into my heart, revealing whatever aches, joys, fears, and miracles reside within it.
  • In the presence of my husband, mama, sister, papa, brother, niece, cat, friend, mentor, student, elderly man on the street I gave a buck to, trash collector I flirted with.
  • In front of this keyboard, sharing a bit of my soul with you who are dear enough to read.
  • Accepting the sales associate’s offer to help with choosing a pair of jeans I don’t need because I’ve since learned where to get the best taco in town. And made a new friend.
  • On my Crate & Barrel bar stool…in a new home that this time, feels like HOME.

When and where do you feel at home?

 

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