Home is Sweet
I am sitting at a gigantic desk inside of a large room in a big house. I've heard it said that you remember things as bigger than life in your childhood, but when you came back to them they always seem smaller. Not if you live in New York City. Compared with my small space living, my home in Florida is more spacious every visit than it was the trip before.
One early morning (without coffee!), loooooong security line and a slightly harrowing car ride later (the driver had a business meeting to get to), I have arrived for a long visit. Suddenly, the things I grew up with seem luxurious: the hardwood floors are unscratched, the light switch covers are free of five coats of paint, and the spices are tucked away in an ample cabinet instead of becoming a decorative feature of the kitchen. But maybe most luxurious of all is the silence here. I am, for the moment, alone to soak in the quiet of this empty, beautiful space. Without the shuffle of feet above my head or a garbage truck serving as my wake up call.
But as much as I love the blue house, which has since been repainted in a lovely yellow tone, it doesn't yet have the people in it that really make it home. Mom, Dad, sister, brother-in-law. Grandparents, childhood friends and new members of their families: I will get to see it all. What strikes me in this moment is how little our lifestyles have in common anymore. In New York, my friends are actors and yogis. We like to watch movies in Bryant Park, we like to get bagels and have a glass of wine. There are things and ideas that we share.
But here at home, our lives are different. Those things that I love are "artsy" and maybe just a little far out. And yet, something draws us together and makes us relish each other's company. I don't think it's just the past- you can only retell the old stories so many times. Maybe it's that level of comfort, that intimate familiarity that allows us to say little, or even say too much. It's why we fight with the people we love most- we let our hair down and dispense with formalities because these people know us and we know them. In a bold, italicized sort of sense- know. Even if I were not tied to these people by familial bonds, I would love them for the amazing spirits that they are.
When the next person home walks through the door, the silence will end. The house will cease to be a cave of wonders and will turn into a place of use and practicality- rooms that store things and hold things, rooms where we eat and rooms where we watch James Bond movies. The whirlwind of activities will be set in motion, and there won't be many more quiet moments like this. But in that moment, coming home will really begin.
*photo courtesy of Pinterest