Yesterday I began to question where my home is. Is it here in South Carolina, where we have lived for close to 4 years? Is it back in Ohio, where I lived most of my life? Is home just a state of mind, as the saying goes?
These questions tumble out of me after a conversation with a friend, 12 days after my mother's death. My friend, Margaret, tells me that she and her husband will return "home" to Ohio next year when he takes early retirement. She is trading in the good weather here in the Carolinas to be close to her family in the colder state, and to eventually be buried in the family plot when she dies down the road.
Before my mother's death, I had a dream of getting everyone to move down here. I hoped that within the next 5 years I could persuade my adult daughters, and my sister and husband, to make this their new home. Now I wonder about this dream because I don't know if this is my home, or if I have the right to "arrange" this.
I haven't lived in my hometown since I went away to college in '69. After college I lived in Cincinnati for 30 years, but no longer feel an emotional pull for that city, even tho we return with regularity to see friends.
Where oh where is my home? I'm realizing that it's okay that I don't know. Even tho I would like to know. I think about the ease of birds, who can make their nests, and then abandon them for the next place. I am not a bird, and I don't care to uproot myself unless there is a compelling reason.
Home may also be where the heart is, but I won't go there right now. Perhaps what has come out of all this for me is to be looser with my notions of what home is.
And that's my lesson for the day.