I’ve been thinking a lot about home. Which I’d always defined as that one place that, when you go there, they have to take you in. One place. One home.
But I’m broadening my definition. Home is where the people who love you live. The people who love you for who you are.
So, by that definition, home is Shamokin, and Sunbury, and Pittsburgh, and Oak Park, and Portland, Oregon, to name a few.
I went to my original home last week. Well, not the original house. I wish I could have gone there and walked around. To see if it looked the same as I remember it, and smelled the way I remember it. But if not to the house, at least to the town where I grew up, which formed me and then launched me into the world trailing a U-haul. Where I broke my front tooth in the playground of the Washington School. Where I learned to drive. Where I fell in love the first time and had my heart broken the first time. Where I sang “Seasons in the Sun” over and over and over again.
I shared the places of my growing up with my children. The cottage, Knoebels. Coney Island. I learned of the love that Emma has for these places, because of our frequent visits over the years. And I know that David and Margaret are developing that same love for the place I originally called home.
By the end of the trip, I was ready to return to our Oak Park home. The place where my stuff is. The place where my life is. The place where I have wonderful, amazing friends who are like family to us.
But I’m grateful for all the places I can call home.