Dorothy had it right. There IS no place like home.
After a lovely four-day conference in beautiful Seattle, where I met some of the brightest, most accomplished and articulate writers, agents and editors, it was nevertheless good to be home again. Even with winning a significant award in Poetry and receiving agent invitations to view my most recent manuscript, I still wasn’t insulated from that schoolgirl feeling of being homesick midway through Camp Wonaribbon week.
It’s good to be home.
Home is where we can be productive and giving, where we can be restored, welcomed, where we can be ourselves. Home is where we wash our clothes, cook our meals, dust our furniture. It’s where we keep our paintings, our pets, our latest thousand-piece puzzle spread across the dining table, our good china and our unmade beds. Home is the outward expression of our inner landscape, a statement to the world of who we think we are, or who we’d like to be. That may seem a trivial purpose, but to some, a touch of beauty and self-expression, however humble, is a need nearly as basic as shelter from the rain. Home is where we can be exactly who we are without holding back and without apology. Those who live with us may not approve in every detail, but at least they’re not surprised. They’re used to us and that’s comfort beyond any measure of price.
And so I’m home.
Home is also the one place where we connect. Where we love. Where we yearn. Yesterday I learned my nephew is having surgery one day this week (not sure which day) to determine if he has testicular cancer. My sister’s best friend is being scanned and tested this week (again, not sure of the day) to determine exactly where her body is hiding some miserable life-altering cancer. I also learned a musician friend and colleague has been diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma that will soon steal her ability to hear the music she so loves. Today we received news that a golfing buddy of my husband was struck by lightning on the golf course yesterday and was airlifted to the Maricopa County burn unit in critical (but stable) condition. Typically, he didn’t know what had happened or even what year it is, but he knew his current golf score!
Yes. I’m home. With all the mess and all the beauty that defines this tornado of a thing called home. I traveled to the Emerald City, I won my award, I pitched my story, then I clicked my heels three times and now …