We've lived now for 6+ years in a unique part of the country where family still rules, multi-generations live close by, occasionally on the homestead that a grandparent or father farmed. And it's a fine place. Big skies, wide, wide-open space and wild-life; a place to roam. But honestly, lately, I've felt a little homesick. It started this summer when we went "home" for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. All of their kids and grand-kids were there, of course, along with almost all of their siblings and spouses. Nieces, nephews and cousins showed up, many of whom we hadn't seen since our wedding.
Then we went "home" again in October for my sisters funeral. We saw all of the fam all over again along with tons of friends, most of whom I haven't seen since high school. And now we're back in the land of every one else's family. Which is cool for them, but also means that if you're not from around here, don't expect folks to have lots of emotional room to add you to their repertoire. Cause this is the land of my Big Fat Norwegian Wedding and most folks have 37 blond haired, blue-eyed first cousins alone.
And now "home," our house, isn't even really where we are. But a home is more than just a house, it's the people, of course, and who's included and how often. A friend in college, who hailed from Pennsylvania and who considered Indiana quite droll, often quoted, "Home is where the heart is" intending, of course, that her heart wasn't in Indiana, where her body dwelled. She returned quickly to the east and has resided there since. If the above quote is true I 'm not really sure where home is. Not here, but no longer there.
We've lived coast to coast (Connecticut to California) southwest to north (New Mexico to the Territories) with some Midwest thrown in to boot (cause you can't get more Midwest than central Indiana, or Ohio either) and I've felt like an alien in each and every place. Never really belonging, enough of an outsider to observe folks feeling stuck where they're at but not willing to leave cause it's "home." Filled up with gas at the local B & P in Ohio years ago and the cashier looked at my NM license wistfully and pleaded, "take me with you, it's so boring here at home." But home is good enough, so much so, that despite the mundane hum-drum, many, many people are enticed to stay.
My 10 year stated this fall that he felt like an alien. And in many ways, we all are, if we believe in a heavenly place. We are just passing through, going through the preface, gearing up for the main performance. Still, the ache is there cause, like my friend of long-ago, I'm not home yet and doubt I ever will be this side of heaven. A place to belong, and settle in to. To be accepted and treasured and valued, despite who we are or aren't. No criticism, no complaints. Just Home.