It’s where I always wanted to be although I was never quite sure where it was and what it meant.
Back in 2012, I was leaving the USA after a rather bizarre three year interlude. I was about to start a year on the road with no address and no home but my suitcase. I was excited about it but also tired; tired of having to pack, tired of having to uproot myself. I wrote about it a bit here as I struggled with the idea of leaving one of the best places I’d ever stayed.
I was lucky enough to live in my Barn for 6 months, although I was on the road for work exactly half that time. Despite spending such a tiny portion of my life there, it is still one of my favourite spots in the whole world. It was small, beautiful and perfect. It had an atmosphere of quiet happiness. It was all mine and I loved it.
I detailed in that blog the 28 different homes I’d had in my life up to that point. Since then, I’ve added another four places. 32 homes in 40 years. It’s a lot.
On my quest to find out what ‘home’ means, I’ve certainly put in the legwork.
Someone from my extended family came to visit me in Slovenia last week and it felt so good to be able to show him around; to show him where we live and how we live.
Our house is in a really beautiful spot in Ljubljana and we’ve made it plump with cozy comforts over the past year. We’ve begun to make friends here and feel properly settled. It’s a revelation that this growing sense of home is making me want to put down even stronger roots, rather than hearing a familiar, tiny voice in my head say, “Oh, hey we’re starting to get comfortable here so it must be nearly time to start over again.”
For a kid who lived in a camper on the back of a truck for a couple of years, this isn’t such a strange reaction.
Perhaps being married is part of this newfound feeling of home. I’m certain that’s part of it although this is a much larger question. I’m fortunate to have a partner who respects my weird quirks, my odd childhood and my almost pathological need to be self-sufficient. He has such a clear, rooted and deep idea of what home means to him. His own traditional Italian family stretches out to the hundreds of people (as I saw at our wedding) and his connection with the land he comes from is strong. As someone descended from generations of farmers, the dirt of his ancestral home is not only under their nails but in their blood.
It boggles my mind. I’m glad to be a part of it although I’m not always entirely sure HOW to be. Home is where we make it and I really, really like this one.