Kate Shrewsday writes of the home-longing we all seem to have, sharing how even snails, which we’ve always said carry their houses on their backs, go home to a physical location. Meanwhile, Kelly Foster declares, “These people I love, all of them, scattered so far and wide, they are my native land.”

I’ve been traveling, and I know: both of them speak truth.

I’m happy as a snail to be back in my home-spot, but those hundreds of miles away, in that town which was quite new to me, I found a bit of my native land assembled from scattered pieces.

I thought about it on the drive back: how home is place and people both, so that I come home without being entirely home, and I go away and find myself home still.  So that even people who live in only one house from birth to death may feel a home-longing, and even people who live as complete nomads know what it means to be home.  So that we never seem to have it all perfectly.  The snail carries its shell-house, but travels on it its home land.   Neither the shell nor the land alone would be enough for the snail.

There are more pieces to my home than to the snail’s; I cannot gather them all together.  But when I find them, place and people all coinciding, then I’ll have reached my real homeland.

5 thoughts on “home

    • betweenbluerocks says:

      Glad my statement about what I know nothing about — living in one place — rings true with someone who knows.

      • Natalie says:

        When I think of home, yes, I do think of a place. The leaf-print tiles on the floor of my parents’ house, the circle on which they live, the same church since childhood, things like that. But then, there are always things missing from “home.” I think of my grandparents who I love and won’t see again on this side of eternity, I think of all my wonderful aunts and uncles and cousins who I only see once or twice a year, I think of the friends who no longer live near me. And not just people, but there are other places I consider “home” as well, because of the memories I have in them.

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