I’ve been in Alaska for about two and a half weeks now. When I first planned my state hopping trip, I was nervous I would lose my sense of home. I thought my home- where I lived, built a life and felt safe- was part of my identity, and maybe it is. But, last week when I was hiking with two new friends I made, I got to the top of the mountain and I felt this overwhelming sense of happiness, of belonging, of peace. Maybe it was the fresh mountain air, or crystal clear views with Mt. Denali in the distance. Maybe it was the amazing people I’ve met out here whom have taken me in and treated me like family. Maybe it was getting to spend time with family I haven’t really gotten to know until now. Maybe it was all of it, but what I realized then is that home, for me, is not a place. Home, for me, is the people I meet, the memories I make, the joy I experience, the comfort zones I leave, and the present moment of where I am that day. Maybe my definition of home will change as I grow but for right now, I feel very at home with where I am. So today I’m going to write a poem, about home.
It’s interesting you see,
When I left home at seventeen,
I thought I left some part of me,
Back where I used to be.
Everything I’d ever known,
The safe spaces that helped me grow,
Left in an instant,
Was I ready to let them go?
It turns out I was wrong,
What I thought I left behind,
Now I know,
Was with me all along.
I’ve grown through the changes,
The twists and turns life takes,
I bring a part of each home with me,
To the next adventure I make.
The memories and people,
My family and friends,
The things that make home, home
Don’t leave when that chapter ends.
I’m beginning to understand,
Home is not the places you are,
It’s the people you meet,
The memories you make,
And it’s never very far.
Until the next tale… Happy trails.