Home is difficult to describe. At any point in our lives, home is something that has a feeling, a near tactile truth, a definitive smell. A smell that becomes so familiar, so woven into who we are, we’re unable to recognize it. Only those who enter infrequently can–they’re simply far enough away. This week I was reminded again that home has very little to do with the structures built by hand. More with the hands that hold it together.
I had the fortune of seeing one of my nieces. Earlier this week I asked her a question; I was thinking concretely about an expected answer. I was limited in what I was looking for. She and her family have recently moved to a new home in a sunny part of California. I asked, “How’s the new house?”
She told me all about it:
The neighbors. Their dog. Their year in school, the three year-old brother, the sports they play, and the proximity of new friends to her porch. To my 8 year-old niece, this is her new home. The people.
I’m left knowing nothing about the paint, the color, the number of bedrooms, the faucets, or the kitchen. And this is perfect, it feels like home.