The Things You Miss
April 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
I have always struggled with the concept of ‘home’. It’s nothing Freudian- I grew up in a great one. But once I got a little older, a little itchier, I thought that home was something romantic that needed to be found. I thought it would be somewhere that clicked into place when you arrived. Some place settled and safe, where sleep would come easily.
I have completely changed the criteria. I now suspect that home is something that becomes your default even when you never intended to have one. It is the origin of your inescapable habits, and a collection of small things that you never realised you would miss.
For me, it’s letting a few hours slide past talking about books and tea and the cat’s freshest neuroses. It’s being woken up by rainforest birds and the broken purr of the aforementioned lunatic cat. It can be garden scents amplified by tropical humidity, or the smell of hose water evaporating on a baking hot driveway. It’s barbecues every evening in every season, waiting for the spitting meat to cook, and sitting on patio tiles as they leak daytime heat still trapped in the terracotta.
It’s definitely family. A place where your jokes make sense and nobody has to ask how you take your tea. Cats that choose your lap over everyone and dogs that get out of bed when they hear your car coming up the driveway.
Itchy feet are useful for getting us out of ruts. Homesickness keeps us humble.