Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Home I Carry with Me...

This morning I went to post a photo on Instagram with what I thought would be a sweet little paragraph below. And then. The words just came. I couldn't stop. And I decided that this Tuesday would be for blogging.

The "little" post started like this...

Sometimes I get a little sad that I might not ever have a "forever" home. That I will get attached to places and people and then eventually face more goodbyes. I worry that the next place won't ever feel like home the way the last place did.
But then.
Somehow it always does.
These little pieces I carry with me from all of the places before. Like world maps and bits of sea glass and framed coffee shop paper bags. The simplest of things but the sort that hold the most meaning and the loveliest of moments and memories. The things that fit in between layers of clothes in my suitcase. These little things that come together and make magic. Even in far away places, these little trinkets make me feel at home.
And I realize that home is actually something that you carry with you. 
Home is not a place, it's a feeling and home can be made anywhere with the right attitude and a just a few little bits you've carried in your heart and your suitcase.
And as much fun as it might be to have a home you own and that is forever yours, I'm learning that there is also much fun in creating home again and again. It's sort of spectacular to watch new places and spaces and people begin to feel like home just when you were certain it couldn't possibly ever feel that way again.
Settling is fun but soaring and landing on many perches with different views of the world below is fun also.
I've always loved butterflies and birds. I'm sure because my daddy did and he taught me to do the same, but I'm beginning to think perhaps it's a little more than just that. That perhaps I love them so much because I see so much of my soul in them. They soar and explore and wander freely. They never worry whether or not they will be able to make their best nest yet when they finally land. They simply pick a perch and make the most of their surroundings and the little twig they carried there in their beak. And what's cozier and more quaint than a bird's nest!?
And butterflies. They never leave one flower afraid they won't find a lovelier one to land on and call home.
They just fly.
These fragile little creatures so wise in letting go, in soaring freely, and in carrying home with them.
And so it with me and my current table center setting.
Seven months in Mexico.
I came here having never seen this little space, and suddenly it feels like home just as much as all the other homes I've ever lived in.
My childhood home with the high ceilings and big maple trees out front.
The home we moved to on my 13th birthday with the little bedroom nook I spent hours in reading and writing.

My college dorm rooms on the Central Bible College campus in Springfield, MO (all four of them)

My first real place with my lifelong friend at the bottom of the Roy St. cliff...with the space over the cabinets to turn into charming bookshelves.

Our second Seattle place in the attic of an old home on Capitol Hill with our walk in closet, cottage like kitchen, and the balcony that overlooked the Seattle skyline.

Our old office back in Applewood Acres that became my sanctuary for a little while...

And now this little upstairs flat in the middle of Guadalajara, Mexico with the giant bay window that lets in all the Mexican sunshine I could ever need.

Lake Erie sea glass.
Seattle jam jar.
Map from small town Ohio.
Mexico City coffee shop memories.
And a bowl of locally grown and purchased Guadalajara limes.
And somehow little bits of all of my "homes" harmonize and create a brand new melody of home. And I think how sad it would be if I had never soared from the last place I called home. If I had never seen the world from this view and never experienced what home feels like here. If I didn't have new pieces of home to carry with me to the next. How not creating home here would make the next home not quite the same. A little less bright and warm and sunny.
And then more then ever I am thankful to feel at home here. I am thankful for these treasures that seem so irrelevant but that mean home to me. Things to be washed away by the sea or tossed into a cafe garbage can.
Things a bird might gather for her nest.
But perhaps like the bird, I understand that these things are in fact the most important. Because these things can be carried as we soar.
And home, it turns out, can be as well. 

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