I’ve been gone a while. I think a little too long, actually. Stepping through the front door last night was like slipping back into my own skin. Oh my, how good it feels!
Travel is wonderful for many reasons but sometimes I think the most important reason is the appreciation it gives me for home. Even the never ending layer of sand and dog hair was a welcome sight as I scanned the kitchen and great room wearing a huge smile and sighing contentedly. It’s so good to be back to all that smacks of me, him, us.
As Patrick and I have gotten older, the need to live in a space that identifies us and that we identify with, has become essential to our well being. I truly believe the feel and comfort of our home reflects the kind of people we are and what matters in our lives.
When I think back on my childhood, I remember my sister and I agonizing over colors and patterns for our bedroom draperies. After all, the draperies would affect what coverlets we selected for our beds. The entire look and feel of our shared room would be determined by these choices. Being very different personalities made a joint decision rather difficult, yet in the end we compromised on rich shades of blue and green. The colors reflected our mutual love of the outdoors, the forests and trees, lakes and streams. Blue skies. Serenity.
Perhaps that was good practice for married life; two different personalities joined together to form an entirely new identity. One that reflects the needs, desires, and the best of both. Color is important to us; colors rich, warm, and vibrant. Comfort is most essential. Smells of rain and salt water, of real wood burning in a real fireplace. The snap and crackle when flames mix with tree pitch. Coffee.
Every time I excitedly scurry out the door, suitcase over packed, anxious to get wherever, I end up coming home with a whole new appreciation. I exhale as if I’ve been holding my breath, as I turn down the gravely road, past the familiar homes of our neighbors, over the bumps and pot holes, stop to check the mail, and pull up in front of the house. I love the way the gate creaks open. The small patch of lawn needs mowing. Most of the flowers are in bloom. The porch needs sweeping. The key goes in and the door swings open, welcoming me back to myself.
Nothing’s ever quite as good as home sweet home!