“This is ho-o-o-ome. Ho-o-o-ome.” My friend, Jenny, who has a lovely voice, is singing along with Sheryl Crow. Yes, this is home, I think as we drive through the winding mountain roads on our way back to Golden. It’s a gorgeous early autumn day and I’m visiting. I used to live here, in Colorado. I look around, taking in the mountains, the yellow aspens, the clear blue sky. It feels like home. It has always felt like home.
More like home than where I am currently living, in Cincinnati, Ohio. I feel like a fish out of water there, in the place I grew up. Always have – even as a kid. But, I don’t want to be rooted. So, despite my friends asking, “When are you moving back?” and me thinking in my head, “Tomorrow”, I know deep down I would get restless and want to leave Colorado. I truly feel at home in lots of places – Castelrotto, Italy; Kinsale, Ireland; Bozburun, Turkey. The world is my home.
I have to admit that Cincinnati did begin to feel like home, somewhat, while my mom was alive. Now that she is gone, it really doesn’t. She made it feel like home. Her dimpled smile, her warm hugs, the sound of her laughter – that made it home. Moms are good at that, aren’t they?
While in Golden, my home of 13 years, I fell right back into routines. I ran along Clear Creek like I always did. I visited my favorite coffee shop, BS-ing with Gene, who has worked there for years. I hung out with friends like no time had passed at all, as if I had never left. It all felt very natural. I have to admit it was awesome.
But, my feet are getting itchy. With my mom gone, I don’t feel the need to be in Cincinnati. Sure, I love my dad and I love being with my big, crazy, fun, loving family. Those are the times when Cincinnati feels a bit like home. But, Mom was my reason for being here, for staying. That reason is gone.
So, the next phase of my life begins. I’ll follow my dream – to travel the world, photograph it, write about it, and plan incredible trips for folks – as my mom would want. She would expect it from me. And, it’s what I want and what I expect of myself.
I’m not going anywhere just yet, but I can feel Little Mama giving me signs that the time is coming very soon. And, I’ll be ready…