There are still so many things about this place that don’t feel like home. My room is essentially an 10×8 warehouse full of cardboard boxes. No bed has arrived, no pictures coordinated on the wall, no twinkle lights around the window.
Its freezing in the morning, and you have to go out fifteen minutes early to start your car up. These mornings are slow and frozen and pitch black. The drive to work is long, down a road that is still unfamiliar. The weight of my hands don’t pull the steering wheel around in a second nature sort of way yet. Every turn is a little unsure.
Their accents are strange and nasaly here. Their voice always seems to settle back in their sinus cavity somewhere before making it’s way out into the air.
There are still so many things about this place that don’t feel like home. And yet, for all of them, there are a hundred things that do.
Where there is a room with no bed in it yet, theres also a roommate who is willing to share her bed with you the first night you move in so you don’t have to sleep on the couch. The kind who puts on lavender scented humidifiers for you to fall asleep, and an extra blanket on your side.
For every freezing morning there is the sunrise over the mountains down an old mountain pass. And while the sun may rise with different colors and cloud shapes and hues, it is ever consistently the start of another day here.
And those nasaly accents? They are peppered with gut busting laughter, always asking my story, or giving me the MT survival tips a southerner could use.
So as I lay here on this couch, all wrapped in flannel quilts, a thousand miles from home, I can’t help but feel familiarity. There is so much more to a home than location. It’s like the difference in a home and a house. One is a building with doors and a roof and blueprints. The other is a living breathing thing, with warmth and a story and life lines.
Sitting around my kitchen table tonight, painting watercolor while my roommates drank tea and did homework, I realized that home is something you can take with you, anywhere. Because if it really is warmth and a story and a life line, aren’t those all things you can put in your pocket anywhere you go? Aren’t we, as Christians, almost obligated to? Whether it’s a mile from “home” or a thousand? I think the answer to that is an infinite and resounding yes.
So I slip home in my pockets. And when I’m standing in a group, as people chatter away with their Midwestern twang, I’ll cram my hands into my pockets and wrap my fingers around that familiar place. And when they’re not looking, I’ll sprinkle it around like gold, until everything i see is bright and familiar.