What is home, exactly? It’s a state of mind rather than one single place for me. It’s not Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin or any of the places I daydream about daily. It’s a feeling. But what does a feeling look like?
For me, it’s the highways between San Marcos and Huntsville. Between Fort Worth and Corpus Christi. New Braunfels and College Station. Abilene and Pittsburg. San Antonio and Oklahoma City. It’s the hay bales, cattle, horses and ramshackle barns lining the landscape. The trucks, Main streets and churches filling up the tiny towns between the gas stops and beer pickups. It’s the single headlights flooding a two-lane highway at 3 a.m. It’s the fields for miles, interrupted only by a single house and occasionally a cross. It’s the pine trees so prevalent it seems as if nothing else exists beyond the 20 feet on either side of the highway.
Home changes over time. Old pictures fade and new ones fill our memories. But these? These were all my first home.
Tonight I felt like crying. Not because it was a bad night, because it was so good.
Today I felt like crying, too. Because it was so bad, and nothing went the way I wanted it to. And I made a lot of mistakes. And that boy never said anything back. Neither did my ex-boyfriend. And I didn’t make a whole lot of money.
But tonight? Tonight was as simple as a few much-needed beers and a table full of boys humoring me in my work attire. Tonight was confidence, and a reminder that it’s all about perspective. Tonight was too many calories and too much money on take-out after drinking too much. Tonight was a nap at 8 o’clock. And those boys never called after they left. But that’s not what it’s about always, is it?
Sometimes it’s just about the puzzle pieces. Sometimes it’s about putting the good pieces together, and getting rid of the bad ones. Sometimes it’s about making the picture what I want it to be, rather than letting the universe decide.
And that’s a good realization.
maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and
milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea
– e.e. cummings
I dated a guy once who told me he thought I seemed like the kind of person who needed to live near water. He wasn’t very smart overall, so this turned out to be an incredibly insightful comment for him to make. I do need to be near water in some capacity. And stars. That’s where I find my peace. In the vast wonder that overwhelms both of those places and the secrets they hold. I think that’s probably where God keeps all his secrets. In the stars and the water. That must be it. Why else would they be so beautiful?
Peace is interesting because everyone’s definition of it is different. My peace isn’t calm, but rather bursting with life. My peace is happiness – the kind where my heart feels it’s going to burst out of my chest because it’s so full. That’s when I feel the most balanced, and I can’t imagine a peace that doesn’t feel like that. Contentment maybe, but not peace.