(Contributed by Dawn)
Since moving back to the US from Japan, I’ve often found myself asking this question: where is home? Is it where I live now? Is it in the gently rolling hills I see as I turn down the road toward my childhood home? Is it the forest behind my grandmother’s house, where my childhood friend and I used to play make-believe? Is my home the steps leading down to that old brick building where I used to learn? Or is it the streaming blue lights hanging from the trees during the Christmas season at my university? Perhaps it’s the mountains of Shikoku? The rice fields and mikan trees and karaoke places? Or maybe, just maybe, my home is beneath a starry sky, where I can see the moon and sigh in contentment, knowing that somewhere, someone from one of those places might be looking at that same beautiful night sky.
Really, in the end, my home is all those places. Those are the places where my feet have trod. Those are the places that have left footprints in my heart, prints that can’t be washed away by the ocean of time. Those places changed me, healed me, broke me, made me. My home is my family, my friends, my memories. I carry the people I’ve met, the people I’ve loved, and the places that have colored my soul. I carry them with me now and forever. I carry my home in my heart, so that it is everywhere I go. And every time I open myself to new experiences and relationships, my home grows a little more beautiful.
So, do I really know where I want to be? Where I want to end up? The honest answer is no, but it’ll be okay, because wherever the future takes me, I’ll always have a home. I’ll always have my first home, my foundation….and all those other, wonderful homes I’ve made along the way. Home is something I can never lose.