Pages from TC’s Journal
Can you have more than one? Would that negate the very meaning of home?
I’ve lived on my own for fifteen years; I’ve lived in Shepherdstown, West Virginia
for over four. Yet when I am planning a trip back to my birthplace of York,
Pennsylvania to see my family, I still catch myself saying “I’m going
also think of this place as home: my house on Gosling Marsh Road, my town
of Shepherdstown, the beautiful state of West Virginia.
home is born of familiarity. I know that what I see when I drive
down Market Street in my hometown is different from what others see. I
don’t just see buildings and street signs; I see familiar places. I see
four short years, I’ve created and collected the same sort of memories in
my new home of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. It is these memories that make
me feel like a part of this town, that make me want to call it home. It’s
not just where I live; I belong.
tourist or visitor would drive down German Street and see some cute shops
and restaurants and a few townspeople. But I see details. I see a spirit –
a living, breathing spirit – that runs through this town. It opens its arms
wide to welcome me, saying, “I remember you! I’m glad you’re here! Come,
make yourself at home.”
walk past the dormitories on campus, I wonder how many of the inhabitants
consider this their home. I notice personalized touches on some of the
windows: a trophy on a window sill, student’s artwork or posters on a wall,
a sorority flag in place of a curtain. Do these things make it home? I bet
when these students go back to their family homesteads on weekends and
breaks, they say they’re going “home.”
thing is, homes are always temporary. So rare is
the person who lives her entire life in the same house. Even Emily
Dickinson – one of the most reclusive, private people I can think of –
lived in two different houses, not including the year she spent away at
school. In the grander scheme of things, we only call earth home for a
short time, and then it’s off to the next place. And, where was home before
what is the definition of home?