Monday, April 21, 2014

There's No Place Like Home

Home is where the heart is. -Pliny the Elder
Home is the place where when you have to go there they have to take you in. -Robert Frost
Where thou art, that is home. -Emily Dickinson
Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it actually is.
-Charles M. Schulz
Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Home is the nicest word there is. -Laura Ingalls Wilder

When I think about the word "home" it brings to mind more than one place for me. It's not the number of places I've lived, but the ways in which those places -- and the people I've encountered there -- have touched me.

Where I live now is home in many ways. I grew up near here. So did the hubby. It was my first home. There is a lot that is familiar in the way the seasons feel, the way that people interact with each other, the things to see and do. Here I can watch the Mississippi River reflect on the stainless steel sides of the arch, but within 10 minutes of my front door I can be in a field where the view of the stars isn't tainted by city lights. Here I'm close to my dad. Here there are people who have known me nearly all my life, seen me grow from a child into an adult, and are now witnessing my children grow. In returning here, I've also had the privilege of making fabulous new friends and learning more about this area. This has only made me love it more. 

However, it is not my only home. Denver is also home. I lived there longer than I have lived anywhere else in my adult life. It was there we bought our first house. It was there my children were born. It was there I was a full-time teacher and then a full-time at-home mom. The friends there grew with me from a young married woman in my twenties to a mother of three in my thirties. They stood by me through those changes and loved me before and after. Denver has permanently etched itself on my heart.

Yet, there is another place that is home to me. Barcelona is where I had my first job, where I first lived on my own. I moved there when I was still wet behind the ears with the university experience. When I left, I was older, wiser, and married. I met and fell in love with my sweet man there. He stole my heart as we strolled the streets and beaches, while we sipped cafe con leche in our favorite restaurants. It was there I truly learned how to speak foreign languages. It was there I discovered the importance and intrigue of different cultures. My time there impacted the way I viewed - and continue to view - the world around me.

I have lived other places. They have touched and moved me, too. I have good friends from my times there. For whatever reason, though, they were never "home." It seemed as though I was an extended tourist, part of me longing for one of my homes. 

We are getting ready to move again. To leave this home for another place to live. Who can say whether I will consider it home. Although I am sad to be leaving here, I am prepared for what God will teach me. I am ready for new experiences. I am hoping to see plenty of this:
Kansas may soon be more than just something to endure between here and there. Or maybe not. Maybe it is still just a road on the way somewhere else. Ask me in a year.

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