Why does it always feel so good to be home after a trip? Oh, I know about the superficial things like sleeping in your own bed, getting back to your routine. But what exactly makes it such a deeply satisfying thing to be home?
It's more than the familiar scents of your home or the surroundings. More than being able to find your way to the bathroom in the dark. More than knowing every little sound and creak in the area. And it's more than being able to walk around in your underwear without scaring anyone.
Perhaps home is home because you can be yourself. No matter how close you are to your hosts, their home is not your home. Their routine is not your routine. And there is no possible way to visit anyone without radically disrupting their routine. I imagine that it will take a couple of weeks for my daughter's family to return to the routine that's allowed them to cope in a chaotic world.
Much of the time that we were there, I was very conscious of the fact that our presence, though very welcome, was making life difficult in ways that couldn't be avoided. There were a lot of compromises this past week. Compromises are exhausting and require some delicate balancing.
Home is where you can collapse, stare vacantly at the wall, and sigh. Lest the reader think that I feel this way only when going to visit my daughter, let me clarify. I feel this way whenever I go anywhere. It seems that I'm a hermit at heart.
We saw I am Legend this week. My daughter and I were discussing the premise of being alone in the world. She felt like she would go crazy after a while without people around her. Me? I would probably be in my element.
Elizabeth Moon wrote a book in which the main character, an old woman, was accidentally left behind on a planet that was evacuated. She did strange things--except I didn't think they were that odd. She slept in a different house each night. She walked around naked just because she could. She only ate things she liked and didn't eat the things she didn't like. She stood in the pouring rain because she liked the feel of the water on her skin. Yep. That would be me.
So I'm home at last. I loved visiting with my daughter and granddaughters. We cooked, cleaned, repaired some stuff, went shopping, played games, talked, and took a million pictures. Before too long, we'll do it all again. In the meantime, they'll settle back into their routine. And so will I.
Don't forget to check out Amarinda's words of wisdom at http://www.amarindajones.blogspot.com/ and Kelly's travelogue at http://www.kkirch.blogspot.com/ and Blessings on your day!