The concept of home is something I’ve tried to avoid. I always thought home meant settling. Home meant staying in one place. Home meant arriving somewhere and never leaving. But I’ve changed my mind.
Home is where the girls at the coffee shop know your voice when you call them on the telephone to ask what time open mic starts. Home is where a new friend acquires a piece of wood from their work that you desperately need for a boat project. Home is where your best mate works at the local brewery and refuses to let you pay for a single beer. Home is where the people you serve at the restaurant turn into allies. Home is where someone you bought a dinghy from off craigslist turns into your sailing buddy. Home is where your co-worker’s brother lets you use his West Marine discount. Home is a text asking if you can walk someone’s dog. Home is riding your bike through a part of town you’ve been through thousands of times, and seeing it with new eyes. Home is a community of people, near and far. Home is family.
Home is familiar, stable—but it’s a paradox. It’s something I’ve always yearned for while away, yet tried to escape.
I’ve been scared of it, but I’ve learned that a sense of home will never soften my urge to wander, because it’ll always be there when I return. That’s why they call it home.