When I left my childhood town, I didn’t make a new home. The city I moved to, and the many houses I lived in through the years, held people who became my friends and adopted family, but my connection to the place was like an explorer on an outward mission. The new city was nice, but surely I was bound for somewhere else. If you asked my where ‘my home’ was, I’d have had to think twice or I would name where I grew up.
After a few decades of things that didn’t happen, and as the pandemic rolled in, I put that aside. It has been an unexpected relief and a lowering of boundaries. Now saying ‘I am home’ feels like a blurring of the edges of me. The noises, the strangers, the friends, the streets - ever young and shifting and all cupped in the the ancient hands of the surrounding mountains. All these things feel like a source of comfort and energy as I imagine them.
I might say ‘this is my home’, but it feels like I belong to it. I know that the mountains easily cradle the city, so surely they can hold my troubles too.
In the future I might move on, but I won’t make the mistake of not making that place home.