Now that I’m a solid two weeks into spring quarter, I find myself at home. The concept of home is something I scarcely contemplated prior to moving to Ellensburg and starting college, but since that time, I’ve thought of little else. At least in terms of “serious thoughts,” the likes of which I suspect most people suspect I do not have. That’s what I call doubly suspicious suspicion.
The fact that Ellensburg is a temporary residence was never an issue. The fact that living with my family is a temporary arrangement was never an issue either, but it’s also something I never truly took to heart. When I head home on the weekends these days, I am acutely aware of the fact that I am, like so many cowboys, just passing through.
Since both of my homes are temporary, and in a more spiritual sense, so is my time on earth, I’m left pondering the concept of home altogether. When my family lived in Timberlane, my mom owned a wooden plaque that she kept above the sink in the kitchen. The plaque was shaped like a little house and painted a lovely shade of blue; beside it was this verse from Joshua 24:15: “…but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Tonight, I ate two delicious angel food cups with strawberries. I also drank a mug of coffee, followed by a mug of mocha cappuccino hot chocolate. Being back home in Renton, even if only for the weekend, has given rise to these thoughts. This house has never quite seemed like home to me—when I think of home, heck, when I dream about home—it’s always in the context of my family’s house in Timberlane.
You’ve doubtless heard the cliche, “Home is where your heart is.” The thing about cliches is that they’re all too often true, at least in part. They’re trite and unreassuring because of how often we hear them, as well as the fact that they’re only words. But the reality is that home transcends houses, cities, and even circumstances. On earth, at least, home is truly where you keep your heart.
When I head over the mountains and into Ellensburg, listening to my Superman soundtrack for the umpteenth time and still savoring every all-too-familiar note, I’m bringing my sense of home with me on the journey. I suppose some of my heart belongs to my family, metaphorically speaking, but I take that with me as well. Think of it as transplant surgery.
On campus, my dorm room is anything but homey. Homely, perhaps, but not homey. But as I’ve learned to adjust to my circumstances and my environment, I’ve found that I can and have made my home in Ellensburg. My social life is largely subordinate to my studies, yet I still enjoy the company and friendship of a few people I’ve come to know. Life on campus is hectic, boring, and sometimes lonely, but that’s where I’m at. And it’s where my heart is, too.
Having said all that, the best food is still at the Sulzbachs’ place.