Home Defined

This past week I received an email from an old neighbor that lived with us on Portland Avenue. He'd somehow come across my book, The Portland House. His letter was complimentary in nature. One of his quotes read,

"We laughed, we teared up, we learned a great deal about your family and our neighborhood."
"Home," then and now. Portland on left, College on right

Additionally it was filled with his own memories of the neighbors we had as well as some of his experience. I remembered most of the neighbors, but his experiences were his own. He went on to say he still lives in the area and thanked me for the look-back.

Then, I was asked to review a forthcoming book of poetry by, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. The collection was about life in Appalachia. While the collection is well written, the thing that impressed me the most was a line about how the author had started a new life yet kept thinking about "home." One of the stanzas that caught my eye, reads:

"I sailed around the world only to find
that I am now the one left behind,
without an anchor, haunted
and homesick for a home

that no longer exists."

-from Solastalgia, by V.C. McCabe 

I think that description holds true for any of us. Home is both where we are right now and where we came from, not to mention where we will be.

But what jumped out was that we cannot go back. Our home, as it once existed, will never exist again. I realize this every time I drive past the house on Portland. The house is different, the neighborhood is different, the city is different.

Yet it will always be "home" to me. It obviously meant something to my old neighbor, as well. Our sense of home is something no one can take from us. We tend to romanticize it and see past the bad and there is nothing wrong with that. As I sit here in my Waukesha home, I am fully aware that my kids' "home" will soon be under the ownership of someone else. (Don't worry, it's a ways from being on the market. LOL)

So I hold it loosely and look forward to my next home. And I am certain there will be times when I'll be homesick for this "home" that no longer exists.

Blogging off...


Ravi Desai said…
Loved it... especially the poem..

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