I’m currently in one of my favorite writing spaces; facing south west as the Pacific Surfliner cruises out of Los Angeles and towards San Diego.
The airport today was a flurry of businessmen rushing off the plane, followed by exhausted parents of small people giddy with dreams of stars on Hollywood Blvd and the theme parks of Anaheim. The NZ Maori rugby team were in transit to London. And I, a tapestry of weaving emotions felt like I was both leaving and coming home.
What is home, anyway? I’ve been defining and redefining home my entire life. I’ve found home in places, events, moments in time, music, bars. But home is people too, so maybe the old adage is true, home really is where the heart is and the heart can only be found with people.
In celebration of my 33rd birthday, I laid out a Thanksgiving feast for 20 or so of my closest friends. What better way to enjoy this season than by doing what I love; feeding those I adore in an expression of thanksgiving for them. After all, birthdays often leave me with a slightly hollow, empty feeling. I have an insatiable appetite to be loved, therefore I must be restrained in the opportunities I create to disappoint myself.
In passing flippant commentary, someone mentioned that maybe I was going a little over the top. I mean, a 33rd birthday – not really a round number or a big occasion, is it? I replied in jest that perhaps in consideration that I haven’t put anyone through an engagement party, a wedding or ensuing hens’ nights and baby showers, it wasn’t really so bad.
It would be easy at this point in my life to focus on what I haven’t done and what I don’t have. I have had dreams of making a home to fill with family and friends, but those things haven’t come to be yet. I haven’t married and defined home by that relationship, although I long to love someone completely.
I have instead found home in a blanket of people so diverse and beautiful that I cannot imagine myself without them. Because in them, their stubborn faithfulness to me, their patience, their loyalty and their love – I have found the whole world given to me on a platter. My life so deep and rich in every aspect, to be in the world and gather a group of people like that around me – is the definition of blessed.
I have found home, it’s best definition. To know and be known; to love and be loved. Home is in the people, the ones woven into your stories of sorrow and triumphs, the tragedies and miracles. Old loves that know your thoughts before you form the words to share them. New loves that call to your soul and you recognize them as they draw near. My life is full of children, families, men and women who bring sparkle and magic into my world and whilst I might try to be generous, compassionate or even remarkable in their lives, I’m certain I fall short. Still, I have found my purpose renewed – that it is enough, to find a home among them.