We are officially home, if home is defined by which license plate adorns your car. Other than not being able to find my car as easily in a parking lot, I’m not sure how I feel about yesterday’s very symbolic action of relinquishing my last outwardly visible tie to the East Coast. The New Jersey plates were a distinguishing factor, announcing to all that we are transplants and our roots lay elsewhere. Each of us has now, in turn, left our birth states– California, New York, North Carolina and New Jersey– and only one of us truly returns home.
That would be my husband, who rolls off the plane and into In and Out Burger…and he is home. Ironically, he’s not even here full-time yet, but I digress. He is without doubt meant to be here, a Californian by birth and in spirit.
For me, home is more a compilation of places, people, experiences and memories. To be honest, I’m not sure where I am now along that journey. Is home an end goal, regardless of how long the travel? I can’t help but to recall Odysseus, who was off at battle for ten years and then spent another ten trekking home.
Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns,
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy.
Many cites of men he saw and learned their minds,
many pains he suffered, heartsick on the open sea,
fighting to save his life and bring his comrades home.
(Translation by Robert Fagles)
Perhaps a more contemporary anthem speaks to you. Even if you don’t watch American Idol (oh, you know you do), and couldn’t pick Phillip Phillips out of a line up, this is familiar if you saw any coverage of the “Fierce Five” during the Summer Olympic Games:
Hold on to me as we go,
as we roll down this unfamiliar road.
And although this wave is stringing us along
just know you’re not alone
cause I’m going to make this place your home.
Whether artist, athlete, warrior or commoner, I suppose we are ever pressing forward if only to return home. And that home could be from where we began, to where we return or some place we have stopped temporarily along the way.