When I was a child I remember taking a trip to Europe alone. My sister had left ahead of me and I was to meet her in London and then travel across Switzerland and Germany to meet my relatives and explore my heritage. On that long flight, by some strange coincidence, I was given a row of three seats to myself. Ecstatic, I remember turning the row into my personal lounge, unpacking most of my carry-on luggage into the pockets in front of me, and imagining that I had made a small and well organized home for myself in the sky. I was always doing things like this. I often unpacked my entire suitcase into the drawers at hotels, even if we were only staying for a few days. I arranged my clothing neatly over the Gideon Bible and pretended that this was where I lived, in this land of infinite continental breakfasts and bed sheets that magically get changed daily for you. This translated, as I aged, into downright neurotic nesting patterns, in every dorm room and office and partner’s house I dwelt in. In graduate school, I completely repainted the walls of my almost never used RA office, put up stick on decor of bamboo and hummingbirds across the walls, and pinned up a calendar of mountain landscapes on the wall next to a dry erase reminder board.
So tonight, when the power drill and nails and measuring tape and mop were put away, I sat down and looked around my immaculate, fully furnished and decorated apartment. I wandered from room to room, remembering where each of the Buddha statues sat and imported scrolls hung in other apartments, the bliss I found in making a home out of all these transitory places. Falling to the floor in the growing darkness, I found myself praying for the first time in a very long time. I found myself asking God if I was the barrier, and informed the Universe that I felt I was ready to receive whatever was waiting for me beyond my limitations, but that I no longer wanted to find home in these well furnished apartments, these offices and dorms and planes and hotel rooms. I didn’t know what home was. I had never known what home was. I just knew I didn’t want it to be this any longer.