And I suppose there’s a flipside to everything.
You gain, thus you can lose. You build, then break.
You create a home and suddenly you’re homesick.
This post was almost some trash about about how that sense inevitable loss makes creating a home harder. The last week has been spent making a place for myself in my new house and I realised that it could terrify me to create a space which in a year will just be somewhere else to miss.
But terror isn’t the emotion I would use to encapsulate this.
I am constantly homesick for a million places but that doesn’t make me afraid to keep wanting them when I have to move on. I’m young and leaving is important to me. I need to keep changing and moving and meeting new people. And if when I travel I’m lucky enough to find places where I feel happy and settled – to find temporary homes– then I want to stay missing them for the rest of my life.
If you asked me about my home now I would talk about white waffle duvets, a curled up cat and the harbour that melts blue into the sky. Or how home has always been Mum and the way she lets me lean into her like a child.
But I would also tell you that once home had been just a tiny, pink bedroom with a wooden shelf overflowing with toys. It was where I watched the sun rise over the lake from my nest of blankets in the front seat. The pressed collar of my blazer every new year, the bottom bunk in her room, the cool of the blue sheets in his bed. Home was once the garden I peeled yellow gooseberries from the crispness of their cases and chased my kitten under the tree. I recognised it in the crash of the waves against the sand and the way the wind wrapped around my tent. Her laugh, his hands; their arms holding each other up as they sung. Home was the sky, when I sat on her shoulders. The way he looked at me.
I will never go back to them, I will never revisit.
But I also won’t forget – and in some ways I’ll always belong.
Because it doesn’t matter how many years I go without: There will always be something familiar in the grains of sand stuck between my toes and the way surf wax rubs against my fingers. In the scratch of bark on my skin when climbing a tree and the way people’s hands move when they’re explaining something they care about. Pink Floyd, scuffed shoes, chocolate chip cookies pressed down with a fork. Every time I see that blue, or hear that song or even just close my eyes for a second – I’ll always know home.
And what I think I’ve finally realised is that moving will never take that feeling away from me. No matter where I go I will recognise home. I will find home again – and if I have to leave I promise that I will never forget to look back.