There are Japanese Magnolias in the parking lot of my work. I noticed them last week. They might have just bloomed, but I also just started mindfully opening my eyes to the beauty around me. I took an afternoon walk to get some fresh air, reciting with my breath, "Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out," as I put one foot in front of the other. I felt the sun and the faint breeze on my skin. I heard the wind blowing through the small pink petals before I saw them. Then I stopped and stared. The contrast of the branches on the blue sky was astonishing, really. (I've always had an obsession with contrast.)
Then I noticed them at my house, too. There are at least three on my block. One is right outside my house. I can see it through my window. In the morning, the sun rises on the other side of that tree. It shines right through the tree into my room. It's as if the petals are glowing. That is home. That moment -- when I look through my blinds as I'm waking up and I see the wonder and simplicity of that tree -- I feel at home.
I'm thankful for beauty and simplicity, that's home.
I read a poem by Jessica Semaan that puts the idea of home (and my recent experience with it) into words quite nicely. I found it last night, and I was taken aback by how serendipitous the timing was -- a time when I've just really begun exploring Home.
When you don’t know where home is
By: Jessica Semaan
Wherever you go is a foreign land
Where you live is a city of roaming strangers
Where you came from is painful and deceiving
Where you are heading to is nowhere to be found
You are too old, too jaded, or too broke to go anywhere new
So you feel stuck, stuck in the walls of your own handmade jailYou are a refugee of a home that does not exist
Then you think, in your desperation, what if home is someone
The lover you have not met, the partner you already live with, your friend from childhood
Then you cling to that someone, you surrender to their love and approval
But the moment comes where you realize they are not home
They are them and you are you
There are no home you can ownAnd the truth hits hard: no one is home and no where is home
You envy even more those who have it, those who found it, those who brag about it
And in your misery, you stop looking for a home
It is neither north, nor south
It is neither east, nor west
Home is no place, no peopleHome is moments
Moments when you feel safe and loved
Home is a stranger you meet on a plane who pours their hearts to you
Home is the scent of your favorite dish as you were growing up
Home is drinking with your best friend, laughing and crying at your bad decisionsHome is the laugh of your new born child
Home is not a place, not a person. Home is moments. And they are at your fingertips.
Read more of her lovely work here.