During a simpler time I remember home and all that entailed. It seemed to me that the place where I lived would always be the same. I spent my youth growing up there and I never considered that I would leave. There was a comfort there at that place that could not come from anywhere else. It was where I played and worked, sometimes, when dad made me. I stalked unsuspecting robins there with my Red Rider, who were never in any real danger. I shot basketball there on the carport for hours. If I grew bored, I went outside and made up something to do. It was a wonderful time.
As I grew to be a teenager a certain restlessness started to creep into my soul. The older I got the more I longed to go. I became incredibly wise, much more so than my parents. With my sixteenth birthday came a license to drive which at the time seemed like my parole papers. There was no need to tunnel out beneath the house, I could simply ride off into the sunset. I didn’t leave immediately though, because I didn’t know how to cook and certainly could not iron my pants. But eventually it came that time when one must fly from the nest and I moved on. Then I found out the truth about home and what it meant to me. The wisdom I thought I had acquired proved to be a farce. Things were much better at home than I knew.
I now live a mile or two down the road from where I grew up. Since I moved here my parents moved from the old homeplace. I’m not sure how to take that but I think that since I got this close they were afraid I would move back in. I did turn in the drive one night on the way home from work and then it hit me that I didn’t live there. I went to see my dad today and we talked about some of the old dogs we used to have. It’s funny the things we remember from our youth. After that I drove home and passed the old house on the way to mine. It is a different color now. The fence around the pasture where dad and I sweated and occasionally bled has been taken down. It’s not home anymore. Then it occurred to me that I have lived in the house where I am now as many years as I lived in the house where I grew up. Isn’t it funny how our heart can change over time. Now this place is home, not because of how it looks or what neighborhood it is in. This is home because my wife and my children live here too. I may not live here until I die but I have realized one thing. No matter where I reside (wait for the cliche) home, dear friend, is where the heart is.