Home Isn't Always a Place
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Home Isn't Always a Place

You Can't Pin a Feeling on a Map

Home Isn't Always a Place
Sarah Rothstein

Two planes rides, a two-hour car ride, a lot of snacks, a few red lights, and I’m back on my old stomping grounds. From West coast to East coast, I find myself back in New York.

The trip back to New York always seems longer than the trip back to Billings. I blame the excitement and anticipation that fills me. I can imagine the hugs and warm welcomes I will receive from my family as I jog down the runway and brush past the multitude of strangers. I search through the crowd until I make eye contact with my sister. Before I can take my next breath, tears begin to roll down my cheeks. It has been far too long. We embrace in a hug that can’t go on long enough with a grip that can’t be tight enough.

The bags I dropped to the floor are quickly picked up as we exit the airport and find our way to the car. The sliding glass doors open and I’m greeted by the smells of the city and the endless sea of yellow taxi cabs as I crank my neck to see the tops of the buildings. I can see Christmas trees through the windows of the apartment buildings and I’m impressed by the lights strung along the balconies. I look ahead and can see the bridge that will get me one mile further from the city and one mile closer to home.

Finally, we come down the mountain and I can see the “Welcome to Warwick” sign decorated with garland and lights. A mix of rights and lefts brings us to our street. I watch the woods my sister and I would wander through on my left as the heavy snow breaks the branches of the trees. First house on the left and I’m home. The keypad to the garage door is frozen yet again as we sneak in through the front door.

My dog never fails to offer the best greeting. With excitement, he jumps on me as I stumble backward. I catch myself on the door frame and tackle him in a bear hug to the floor. He cries and barks; too confused by his own emotions. I peek around the corner and sitting on the stairs, her head poking between the railings, is my cat, Sarah. I scratch her head and rub beneath her chin as she slowly closes her eyes. Bouncing down the stairs to join in, I see the orange ball of terror otherwise known as Nelson. I watch him chase after the ball I send flying across the room and swoop it back up to me. I shout up to my brother to remind him that I am back.

It’s good to be home.

Being far from home has taught me that home isn’t necessarily a place but rather a feeling. When I am at school, I consider my apartment my “home.” When I am in New York, I consider my family’s house my “home.” Two very separate and distinct places are “home” to me. I am blessed to feel loved and cared for in both places. A short year and a half ago, I was a girl living on her own in Billings, Montana nearly 2500 miles from family. But, today, I have loved ones I consider family in both places. And for that, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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