What is home? According to dictionary.com, home is “1. a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household 2. the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered 3. an institution for the homeless, sick, etc.: a nursing home 4. the dwelling place or retreat of an animal 5. the place or region where something is native or most common 6. any place of residence or refuge: a heavenly home 7. a person’s native place or own country 8. (in a game) the destination or goal.” However, many of us may have some very different definitions of what home is.
For me, home is salt water splashing over the sides of a surfboard. It’s two people riding on the same surfboard, laughing and shrieking as the waves threaten to topple them. It’s racing to catch that wave before someone else does. Home is the biggest seashell you can find, and the tiniest sand dollar too.
Home is the smell of last night’s bonfire still lingering in your hair, on your clothes. It’s the chocolate you lick off your fingers after each s’more. Home is getting as close to the fire without burning yourself so you can keep yourself warm, and your parents’ voices chastising you for getting to close, but you do it anyways. Home is wading into the ocean on a warm summer night and watching the moonlight reflect on the waves around you.
Home is driving through the desert. Home is driving through the desert on a warm night and stopping on the side of the road to gaze at the stars. Home is sticking your hand out the window, sticking your head out the window, standing so half your body is hanging out of the sun roof. Home is listening to the silence. Home is filling it; filling it with whatever you feel like, laughing, singing (whether it’s good or really really bad), shouting, screaming… anything. It is following a coyote until the road won’t let you go on. Home is driving on a long desert highway and screaming as you go up and down each hill. Home is driving on a dirt road, bumping up and down and watching as the dust flies up behind you in big clouds.
Home is driving through the sequoias at night, where the canopy is so thick and it’s so dark that if you turn off the headlights you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. It’s driving nine hours to see family. It’s driving nine ours back. It’s looking up and realizing that if that pine cone falls on your head, you’ll die. It’s looking up and feeling very, very, indescribably small in comparison to everything else the universe can throw at you.