As I pulled into the driveway after the long car trip from Jacksonville to Georgia, I turned to Fiona and said, “We’re home!” This is not my house or my furnishings. None of my possessions are here – not my art, not my books, not my Barbie collection, not even my best shoes. So what is it that makes it feel like home to me?
I have lived in a lot of places: London, San Francisco, Flint, NYC, Staniel Cay, Greenwich, Ponte Vedra, Norfolk, Marquette, Darien, Jacksonville Beach. At the moment, home is a rustic log cabin in Hiawassee, with dormant wasp’s nests dangling in the eaves like dream catchers. I’m nestled so far off the beaten path it takes twenty minutes (at a fast pace) to walk to the mailbox.
I’m sitting at a scarred kitchen table at 3 AM, and I’m thinking about what “home” means to me these days. It’s an appropriate subject for a sobriety blog. In my last drinking year , I was living in a penthouse apartment on the Atlantic Ocean. Enviable digs, but I never looked outside or sat on the balconies. There was no enjoyment, no comfort, no homecoming.
Now that I have a clear head (and greatly reduced expectations…), I am able to sum up my definition of home in one short sentence. Home is an aesthetically pleasing, children accommodating, closed door.
Do not fret. This doesn’t mean I’m isolating again. It doesn’t mean I don’t want friends to visit or that I’m adding agoraphobia to my long list of idiosyncrasies. It means that self sufficiency, motherhood and the ability to recharge in solitude is primal (not preferential) to my peace of mind.
Remember the movie The Jerk when Navin mistakenly thinks the gas station toilet is going to be his new home and he starts getting excited, envisioning how he’s going to rearrange the furniture? That’s me (in fact there’s a lot of things about The Jerk that remind me of me…).
Give me a place to call my own, out of everybody’s way, with a door and I’m as content as I’m ever capable of being.
Today I’m not drinking because I am closing the door…
How come you’re not drinking?