On the way home from errands today, I was listening to Michael Buble’s Christmas album (hush, I can listen to music whenever I please, regardless of season) and he began to sing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”. I always smile when I hear that song, remembering the years that I would board two to three planes to wend my way to my home with my parents for the holidays. Now, more and often, I realize that I will be home for Christmas, without ever leaving.
I have lived in Indiana for the past fourteen years, the first six of which I was in undergrad and then graduate school. Ever since I first set foot in this state, I knew I was where I was supposed to be. It wasn’t for several years that I would come to call it home, however. When I left southern Indiana and headed north of Indy for graduate school, I was homesick for my world of the past four years something terrible. I promised myself that this new city would “never be home”. I have no problem admitting that I was terribly, terribly wrong. It is most definitely home. It is where I live with my husband, where my daughter was born, where my in-laws live, where I first started my teaching career. It is where I discovered myself and crafted my life as an adult. This is home. Amongst the fields, the woods, the cities, and the surprising little towns. That’s not to say that the place where I grew up isn’t home as well. It is. It keeps my family and my memories, but it is more ‘childhood home’, where I used to live. My bedroom in my parents’ house is a guest/craft room now, with only a few vestiges of it ever having belonged to a kid-teenager-young woman at one point. But that’s all right.
This is where my heart is. This is home. I will be home for Christmas, and that makes my heart swell.