Our second place winner, Swan Gray, magnifies the essence of home and hearth. In this thought provoking account, she writes about the feelings that she had in each house she’s ever lived in- stressing the all time idiom “A house does not make a home, people do.”
Home Is an Adjective
Home is not a structure made out of bricks and wood or stone or stucco.
It isn’t made up of plaster walls with posters and paintings, or with carpeted rooms and marble counter tops. It doesn’t have an address or an area code.
To a nomad home is an adjective,
a word that describes a feeling or state of being.
I moved a lot as a child, a different house, with a different room and nothing was normal, nothing was ever just mine.
These houses are faded in my memory now,
like well-worn jeans and only glimpses remain.
A darkened attic with slanted walls and where the heat never visited.
A room where the rising sun, streaming through bay windows would wake me and tempted peeping toms.
A studio with a mermaid bathtub and a view of a garden
where my cat chased raccoons away.
A simple wooden shack with holes for windows,
laid where the jungle meets the sea.
These glimpses fill my heart with nostalgia because it reminds me of the words of wisdom my father gave me, or the time I held my sisters little baby body, or the pillow I cried into when I realized that my mother wouldn’t be there to guide me into womanhood.
These glimpses carry with them the moments I discovered my talents, or when I dreamt, both waking and sleeping, and devised plans
for the life I hoped to have.
Home is the hearts of people that you love and that love you, it is the arms of your grandmother, the laughter of your siblings,
the adventures with your friends.
It’s in those moments love creates, when you can just free to be who you are and celebrated. I take home with me wherever I go.