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This is Home

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It was early—still dark and quiet—on a Sunday morning, when I rolled the small suitcase across the bedroom floor.  I was leaving for New York City, to spend five days mixing business with pleasure.

“You booked a round-trip ticket, right?” My husband has a dry sense of humor. It’s one of his many endearing qualities.

It was not an unreasonable question, though. I have been asking him “When are we going home?” for more than a decade.  He always answers, with varying levels of exasperation, “This is home.”

Photo credit: www.georgialegalreport.com

This week marks our Bar Mitzvah year in Atlanta. It is a milestone in my adult life, as I have now lived here longer than I lived in the city of my birth.  To be considered a native Atlantan, I have learned, takes four or five generations.

I dream of returning home. I miss living near extended family, my father and brothers, my aunt, my cousins, nieces and nephew. But after thirteen years I don’t feel like a visitor here anymore; more like a transplant, as my family has taken root in the red clay.

When I returned from that trip, some months ago, I wrote a poem.  I wanted to express my jumble of emotions in a measured, well-structured collection of words.  Last week, in celebration of my anniversary as an Atlanta resident, I pushed myself to the border of my comfort zone:  I submitted the poem to Tiferet Journal’s website, where you can now read it and share your reflections about home.

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Comments (10)

A house is just four walls. Home is what you have made within those four walls. It is a wonderful home, full of love and family. Close your eyes and we a re all there.

Thanks, Mom!

I still refer to SoCal as home and each time I do it my daughter corrects me.

While I am sad that her ties to her native place are weakening, I am grateful that she is making the adjustment.

It’s a process…

That’s so funny– my kids are divided on this issue. My girls were born in NYC, so they play along, but my boys correct me. The spouse is a Midwesterner and the baby is a “native son” of the Southeast. He born in Atlanta, and whenever I hear a twang creep into his speech I tell him to pack his bags because we’re going back to New Yawk. I don’t really have a discernible NY accent, except at those moments.

Nice post. I know what you mean. I still miss the East Coast, but after 5 years, this is starting to feel like Atlanta is one of my homes. I remember for the first few years after moving here, whenever someone asked, ‘Where are you from?” I would have a moment of panic. I knew they were asking: “Where do you live?” but saying Atlanta felt like a lie, so I would say, “I am from New York and New Jersey, but I live in Atlanta.” Now, I find myself saying “Atlanta” most of the time. I also noticed the last time I went home that I didn’t feel a tearing feeling when I visited the town in New Jersey where I had raised my kids. So that is progress too. Still, having friends in Atlanta who hail from the North East, makes me feel more at home here.

Thanks for the comment, Jennifer. I definitely helps to know other transplants feel the same way. I remember the first time I was driving home from the airport following a long trip–we had probably been living here about 5 years or so–and as I turned into my neighborhood I felt a deep sense of relief. It was that “happy to be home feeling.”

Beautiful, Pamela! I’m glad that Atlanta is your home, if at least for now. The south is lucky to have you:)

Thanks!

I now live in Saskatoon, Sasksatchewan, it has turned into home for me. I have become so bonded to this place I would have a very hard time packing up and going somewhere else. Macon was a nice place to live but I didn’t have the connection to it like here.

Wherever you have that connected feeling, Dale, that is home. Glad you found it in Sasksatchewan!

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