As important as it is to travel, it is just as important to have a home to come back to. We all yearn for those connections and we yearn for that sense of belonging. For that basic foundational concept of humanity that says I am from here. This is home.
And so, when I’m gone for too long, I find myself missing that. I miss waking up to the duck, whose early morning, incessant quaking is a plague upon both my sleep and my sanity. I miss the little hens that nurse their eggs. Their ruffled feathers and the way they peck at my fingers when I reach for the small, imperfectly shaped treasures that lie beneath them. I miss the weight of those warm eggs in my hand.
I miss my garden. I miss watching the flowers open up to the early light of morning. I miss the reflection of the rising sun against the ripened tomatoes that hang heavy from the thin and arching vines, drooping in perfect fullness. I miss tracing the patterns of the succulents, discovering in awe the varying shades of greens and pinks and purples that paint a masterpiece on every single leaf.
I miss the mewing of the cat as she follows me around the house, darting and weaving in front of me, starting when I trip over her wicked little feet. Back and forth and back and forth until you hear the trickle of the kibble as it hits her porcelain dish, which, in my sleepy state, spills up over the edges and spreads out onto the kitchen floor.
I miss my bed. The mattress is old but it is perfectly conformed to my sleeping figure and there is no bed in the world better suited for my body than this one. The sheets contain small remnants of my work in the garden, little bits of soil and bark cling to them. They scratch and rub against my legs when I slip between them but I even miss that. The little imperfection. And I miss the pile of animals that sleep at my feet and contribute to the streaks of dirt that adhere to the white comforter but I’ll never have the heart to toss them out. They keep me warm on cold nights and they give me comfort and they give me love.
I miss the way the faucet in the kitchen leaks and the light in the bathroom flickers and the toilet runs at random hours and requires careful attention when flushed.
The creaking of the house that is like a soft, melodic lullaby, lulling me into my deep state of slumber. I know it is the termites eating away at the frames but I love them dearly for the symphony they put on for me each night.
This is my home. This is where I belong. Amongst the gate that never closes all the way and the doors that never lock just right and the stove that can only be lit from one range, otherwise it will begin to sputter out a strange smoke signal. I believe it is communicating with the refrigerator whose humming never ceases.
As beautiful as it is to have the starry sky splayed above my head it is sometimes just as beautiful to look up at the cobwebs clinging to the corners of my arched ceilings.
This is the place I miss. Home. I love it all when I am away and frown upon it when I am there but it is still home. It is where I belong and where my roots are laid, right alongside the potatoes that lay buried deep within the soil.