The Idea of Home

As my family faces the possibility of yet another cross-country move within the next year, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of home. I was born and raised in the same town, so home was a pretty concrete place for me growing up.

I don’t know that I’ll be able to say the same for my kids. Georgia lived in 4 different homes in her second year of life alone, so the idea of home for her and Jameson is likely going to be very different from what I grew up knowing.

In a way, that makes me sad. Mostly because my childhood home is so ingrained in who I am. It’s almost as if it’s more than just a place, but rather an extension of myself.

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.

Joan Didion

From the age of 5 the place I called home was idyllic by any standards. Our house overlooked a quiet bay on a small lake, surrounded by towering Norway pines and snow-white birch trees. The bay was home to beavers, giant snapping turtles, and families of loons who would carry their tiny babies around on their backs.

It was a place filled with peace and stillness. It was quiet and serene, yet filled with a multitude of comforting sounds that I have mourned the loss of since leaving home for city and suburban living. The rustling of the leaves on the breeze, growing louder with each gust of wind and then softly quieting down, the crescendo and diminuendo of the north woods. The loons calling, a sound whose return we eagerly anticipated each spring. A kayak paddle rhythmically dipping into the water, lapping the water behind you as you pushed out into the open water. Snuggling up under a pile of blankets on a cold winter night, listening to the wind roaring outside.

I guess the idea of home will be fluid for my kids, constantly changing as our life as a family evolves. Regardless of where the journey takes us, I hope that one day we end up in Minnesota so our kids can experience the magic that is childhood in the North.

MN Childhood Home


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