As I mentioned in my last post, we moved around a lot when I was a kid. Probably roughly once a year. There were a few times we stayed in one place for two years, and I would always get stir-crazy after a year.
The longest I ever lived in one place was the eight year stretch that Josh and I lived in Leicester, NC (and, honestly, I don't remember the last year; I always seem to think we only lived there seven years, but no, it was eight). I did get stir-crazy after a year, but soon we fell pregnant and things changed dramatically anyway. I liked having a home for my children. We had the best yard in our trailer park. It wasn't where I'd always wanted to live by any stretch, and it was 'far' enough out that few people ever visited us (I scoff about that now...), but the home was ours if not the land, and we were happy.
Everything suddenly seemed weird when we moved to MO. I didn't notice it when we first moved, being busy carting things and overflowing with excitement. Our dear friend Tracy kept the girls while we did most of the major move, and then we went back to NC to drop off the truck and pick up the kids. It was night when we arrived, and they were of course out of it as they were roused, but I beamed and threw my arms out, promising, “This is home!”
And everything shifted. I looked up at the night sky and got the most intense sense of vertigo that I'd ever felt. The sky was wrong. I felt like I was falling, and I may have even had to grab Josh to steady myself. It was all so foreign, so alien. It wasn't right.
I'd never lived in one place long enough to get so very used to it, but now that I had, it was so odd. I now lived under the wrong sky. I'd never realized how accustomed I'd grown to our Leicester sky, but I realized now – and I remember the times Josh and I stood in our driveway with our arms around each other, watching meteor showers, and I remembered all the times I sat outside doing so many reiki ceremonies. That night sky had become an anchoring part of me without ever realizing it.
Shocked as I was in that moment, I felt like a woman drowning. I flailed around, seeking some familiar sight. I looked for my “itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny-tornado” that had always been my anchor point back in NC. I'd always thought of it as such growing up, and I gave it my own silly kid-name without ever knowing what it was, but I suspect it's probably the Pleiades. I grew increasingly concerned when I couldn't find it, and I spun around on my sidewalk and then in my yard until I found it. Far off in the whole wrong place! It was so heavy and noticeable, this weird sky change.
And I remember the exact instance when I came home one evening, probably 3 or more years later, and the world shifted again, at least for my mind. I was hurrying in to join the family, probably had an armload of groceries or something, and I noticed the sky out of the corner of my eye – and everything stopped. I cartoon-scooted to a stop myself, surprised by the sudden stillness in time, and just tilted my head back to look up at the sky that suddenly looked so right.
I'd been out all day and was so glad to be home, but I thought of 'home' as my family. That evening, I realized this place, our Grateful Stead, had really and truly become home for me. I can't remember the day, the season, or even the year this happened, but I remember that very distinct moment when the world stopped me and told me my home was here. When nothing seemed off, awkward, foreign, or far away anymore. The house, the four acres of yard I work so hard to keep up with, my family within...and this gorgeous, sparkling view from above. All were right, comfy, and safe.
I hope I never forget that moment. I don't think I've ever had such a strong feeling of home as I did that night.