Writing yesterday about finally taking steps to sell this house and, in part, how it does not feel like home, I got to thinking about that question of where is home. I am an only child from an extended family not well entangled in my generation. I barely know my cousins. My father and his two siblings led very different lives and my mother was an only child. As a consequence, I knew for at least twenty years, more like thirty, that eventually I would almost certainly need to set aside whatever I was doing and wherever I was doing it to come here and take care of one or both of my parents, or oversee their care, for some unknowable length of time. There was nobody else. As a result, at some level I regarded every place I’ve been in that time as temporary. I did not put down deep roots and develop strong attachments to place or community. Oh, there were and are friends and there were a few lovers, but that is different from place. One can visit friends when not feeling tied down by a piece of property, which is much how I feel about this house, but that does not make where they are home.
Now, or at least when I do sell this place, there is the question, “Where to? What next?” I will not have the necessities or obligations that have largely driven those decisions for most of my adult life, the need for a job or the influence of a relationship. Barring a complete collapse of the economy, I will have some reasonable degree of financial security. So, I have to deal with a freedom of choice to which I am not accustomed. It is a very odd feeling, replacing “What do I need” and “What must I do?” with “What do I want?” Does one find Home, create it, or, is it necessarily a physical place at all? Good questions all.