Home for me was always this little bit of wild in South Texas. I remember burning my hands with the hot water because my sister had turned out the light to the bathroom and while I had a step stool for the bathroom counter, I was too little to reach the light.
I remember watching the new house being brought in on the back of a truck and thinking it was unbelievably cool that houses could come on trucks. That was the first move of my life, when I was around three. We moved roughly a hundred yards forward on the property and that is where I would stay until I moved to college.
Childhood fantasies were played out in the woods around the house. We had this tree house, that was really a tree, that was really several trees. I’m sure there are still bits of old lunchboxes left out there from where we lovingly stowed them for the next trip to our own personal Narnia. Even in the height of the Texas summer, it was cool underneath that tree. The best part was eating the muscat grapes that grew on the vines that surrounded the trees. I thought for ages that grapes grew on trees.
When I moved away to college, homesick didn’t even begin to describe it. My heart yearned and beckoned to return. There was too much tumult, too much everything. I just wanted the simplicity of home. I was searching for the feeling of grounding that came with being where I belonged.
I was last home in June of 2011. My sister was getting married and we came in to celebrate. Or I did at least, B had to be in Guatemala the week of the wedding. Then we moved to Turkey and it just didn’t work to get back home.
My parents now live in my grandparents old house. Coming home doesn’t have the same weight that it once did. There is still comfort. There is still the familiar, but it’s all disorienting at the same time. But really, what happened is that home is no longer home. Somewhere, sneakily, along the way, home came to mean something entirely different.
I do love my little bit of South Texas though. And it’s good to be “home” even when it isn’t quite what it used to be.