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.