Originally written on Sep 11, 2016.
Sometimes when I am in traffic, I look out of the car window and see a house. The light is on and I am overcome by a strange tightness- nostalgia perhaps, I am not sure.
Nostalgia: a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time. (dictionary.com)
I often feel nostalgic for a place or period that I do not know. I don’t know exactly where or when or what it is I am yearning for. Seeing the light makes me think there must be a family inside-or even just one person-doing things people do at home- watching television, eating, napping on the couch, laughing.
Home. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of home is cozy. I feel that I have been searching for a home. This is weird, because I do have a home, with parents and siblings, and yet I am searching. I need a place to be cozy in; to be happy and loved; to snuggle under the covers on a cold rainy day; to be alone and to be with company; to eat dinner while passing commentary on a movie; to laugh and be at peace.
It is strange that a single light bulb can evoke so many feelings. I cannot see what is going on behind the curtains. I do not know the kind of persons that live there. All I can see is that a light is on, and that is enough for me to feel a longing for home.
I feel this longing even when the home is not outwardly desirable. I look at people who live in squalor, with no electricity and no furniture; they laugh together and I am consumed by this desire for home. Could it be companionship that I crave? I have been an island for so long, a dedicated loner, and it is strange to think of myself as a person who wants others.
Home to me is not necessarily a place with family-although it would probably be best if family felt like home. Home to me has never been a place, more like a feeling. For the most part, I am my home, and I carry my home with me wherever I go. Home is where I am. It is for this reason that I never feel homesick.
Still, I feel the longing; the deep yearning for something out there. I am no longer enough. I need a home.