According to Dictionary.com, a home is defined as "a place of residence or refuge." This seems appropriate as I sit here in Colorado Springs in the house where I grew up: it is the residence where I spent my formative years building friends and memories; and now, with three young children of my own, Grandma and Grandpa's house is, quite literally, a refuge. Save me, I tell them, handing the baby to my Dad.
I retreat to the back deck, where I watch the birds fly in the crisp, 6,000-feet-above sea level air and listen to the drone of the gliders floating over the Air Force Academy, sounds that to me are so tightly intertwined with my concept of home. Home. Here.
But what does it mean for me that this is home? And what type of home memories am I creating for my budding children? What will they remember as they, too, one day cross the threshold of a structure and breathe in deeply, drinking in all that reminds them of a fleeting moment of when they were ten, twelve, fifteen, eighteen-years old?
Our family seems to be on perpetual pilgrimage, and our "home" is right now neither here nor there. Home is where we are. And when I reflect on this, I see that it is true for me as well. While I love the memories lurking in these walls, they would be empty without the sounds of my mom in the kitchen, without my dad fixing something in the basement. Home is more than a house, and it is more than a location. Memories are made that revolve around people and around relationships, and not around bricks and mortar. I think fondly of the people I encountered here in this house, of the laughter we shared, and even of those crazy teenage years of so much...growing. Without the people, this place would be another house in a series of ranch-style homes on a street in a sub-development nestled close to the mountains. Beautiful and charming, but vacant.
And so I ponder "home." I think about what it means to be a source of "home" for my family. I pray that they will think the words "love" and "laughter" when they think the word "home." I hope they will remember smells of popcorn popping and cookies baking. Let them remember prayer times over candles in the morning, art time with pudding paint and messy floors, and meal time when we gather around the table.
Home. Let that place be people, too. Let that place be me.