This past weekend I returned home to upstate New York to spend a much needed weekend at home. Until this last visit it had been about three months since I'd been home last, which I noticed was pretty much my longest stretch to date, minus my time abroad.
Not too long ago I had a conversation with a friend and said that living here in Philadelphia is really the first time I feel like I've moved. School always had a timeline, plus I knew I wasn't going to stay in Syracuse following graduation. Internships, semesters abroad, they were also the same; a measurable time away from home, but I was far from planting somewhere permanently. While my school time in Philadelphia has a timeline too, I know that I will be here well past my graduation next May. Honestly, I have no real plans to move in the next 2-3 years. I guess you could consider me semi-permanently planted in Philadelphia; I may have thought I was just scoping it out, but I find myself getting comfortable.
All of this got me thinking about home. Neither of my parents grew up in my hometown, so not surprisingly we don't have any extended family in the area. As I mentioned before, all of my siblings are scattered around the northeast. Some of them have established homes, some are in the process of finding new ones, but the bottom line is most of us have new homes. New places, routines and lives that aren't shared together in the house with the front porch swing across from the park. While I know its natural (and healthy) to want to start your own life separate from your childhood home (whether that means moving or staying close to home), its a weird concept if you ask me. It reminds me of that part in Garden State where Zach Braff's character asks Natalie Portman's character about that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? Yeah, when does that happen?
I guess its different for everyone, but for me there are certain things that will always make that house home, no matter where I go. Like the front porch swing that I am always slightly nervous will collapse on me any day. Or the lilac tree and rhubarb plant, also known as 1st and 3rd base respectively, for wiffle ball games that I more than likely "observed" (lets be real here). Like the creek that tells you exactly which stair on the stairway someone is on, or the sound of the bathroom fan being left on hours after someone's shower.
Who knows if they'll be the makings of my new home, wherever that may be, but if you ask me they're the things that always reminded me of home. The little things that allow the house I grew up in to always, even the smallest bit, be my home.