Lesson #34: Let Home Be Anchored in Moments


For most of us life begins with a concrete concept of home. Some of us fair better than others, but the idea is the same, home is a given. At the end of the day we know where our corner of the world exist, this is not something that we question.

At some point in our adult lives we realize that home is no longer an unquestionable concept, it becomes abstract and fluid. Typically we become anxious, untethered, and confused as to how to replace what is no longer there.

How do I know? Because it is the transition I am currently going through. An anxiety I am currently trying to come to peace with, an understanding I am trying to embrace. For the two years after college I have been wandering, holding on to Massachusetts as my home. And then I decided to actually return, for a while at least, back to family, back to leather boots, and slow roasted coffee, and I found that it too wasn’t home as I had remembered it. It had aspects that felt grounding, but my foundation has been spread since last living here.

I felt a profound sadness, which I instantly recognized as loss.

Home no longer exists as simply as it used to. Yet neither do I. Life becomes denser and so too do concepts we once thought we understood. Definitions become muddled and beg to be reevaluated. Home is no longer tethered to one room, a Harris tweed trunk that houses the words of my youth and a nightstand filled with half used chap sticks and a thumbed through copy of Mountains Beyond Mountains. Home no longer fits into small protected spaces.

And, thankfully, after the sadness came appreciation. For home does still exist, simply like water let out of its confines it has spread. It dwells in the small temple of Thabo where Mel and I would meditate after class. Home is dancing alongside my Mother in the car and the immediate laughter that follows. Home is in every hug where you both squeeze so tight that your chests melt into one another. Home is watching my Grandmother as she knits colorful yarn fish onto her new blanket. Home is the collective bellow of a hundred seals off the coast of Chatham. Home is on the roof top in Chiang Mai where we painted, and hula hooped, and watched the sun go down over Doi Suthep. Home is dinner at the Napier’s. Home exists at the top of mountains encompassed by unexpected snow and painful sleet. Home is creativity with Cathy and conversations with Meghan and Kirsti that seep across the lake and settle into the darkness of the night.

Home is tied to moments that we choose to let anchor us. Those salient experiences when we feel grounded. No matter where in the world we happen to be.