As I cuddled in bed with my son last night I took a moment to recognize that his Lamby has travelled everywhere with us since he was just a baby. This lamb has been on more adventures than most. He has been with us on every flight and every road trip. Wherever we are in the world, Lamby is a constant. Lamby had me thinking a lot about home and how we define it. Since we haven't been "home" since March, home has been redefined in our lives as an abstract construct that in reality is not just a space that has walls, a ceiling, and a bunch of things collected over the years. In fact, home is not tangible. Home goes way deeper than the physical shape we like to box it into. Being on this road trip has me realizing that home is actually anywhere, at any given moment, as long as you are with the people you love most. Home is a state of being that could be anchored at any time in any place. Home is transient, if we are. Home is fixed, if we are. We create our homes, not architects . While we choose to adorn our homes with nice furniture and accessories, the most meaningful décor are the ones that cannot be seen- the laughter, the memories, the struggles, etc... Merriam-Webster defines home as "the place where a person lives; a family living together in one building, house etc". I would dare to edit this and simplify the definition as "the place where a person lives; a family living together". Why is home limited to one building/house? Take a moment to think of all the subtle, and not so subtle, ways our lives are predefined if we allow them to be. Home for us is no where and everywhere. Home has been our car, now the central point of endless conversations, podcast listening, singing along to tunes, eating meals, arguing, laughing, etc. Home has been at dozens of dining room tables, countless hiking trails, and in various cities. Home has been on the beach, in the mountains and in the desert. The experiences we are sharing together are the central flame that connects us. As long as that flame continues to burn, we will be home. Our physical home, the one conventionally limited to the "one place of residence" is sitting empty in Manhattan. Our temporary homes change weekly as we move through the states and in and out of hotels and rental homes. But home, the real, true place where we feel safest, secure, deeply loved and happiest is anywhere we are together. Home is where families make memories, grow together and make mistakes together. Wherever love is, home is. For us, although maybe not mainstream, home is in a thousand places. It could be on a beach in South Carolina or in the highest mountain peaks of Tennessee.
"There is no place like home". Does this powerful expression point to a physical structure? When we are in our physical home space are we comforted by its' tangible aspects or the feelings we associate with the space and time within it that we have created for ourselves? When we realize that the memories and security we have built within those walls can actually be carried with us anywhere, a new level of freedom is achieved. So, for those who wonder if I miss home, no, I don't miss "home" because I am home.