It was almost three years ago that I once again set my eyes on home. I haven’t left since.
It was an awakening. Everything was strange, yet familiar. You assume you’ll always remember, but you never do. The problem with memories is they’re static. Life, however, is dynamic. This means your memories are somehow always wrong.
When I came home I found a bag hanging right where I’d left it some five or so years earlier. It should’ve stayed the same as my memory demanded it remain. But it wasn’t the same. It had been virtually untouched by human hands, but time had ravaged it. It was the same bag alright, but somehow dim and, shockingly, old.
The people I was seeing again had the same problem as the bag. The old people were time-ravaged and grey. The children of my memory were now tall and gruff and hairy and lumpy and adult. They were annoyingly familiar yet strange.
How time changes things.
That night, tired and disillusioned, I crawled into my old bed and was delighted to find that it was just as soft and welcoming and pillowy as I’d left it. Old familiar voices and smells floated through the open door of my bedroom as I drifted into sleep. The night noises, a symphony of chirping frogs and crickets and whatever else was out there, were the same as always. The city noises and siren blasts of my life had faded into nothingness. My life had changed in a moment, in a day.
As I tossed and turned, trying to find that perfect sweet spot to cuddle down into, the reflection in my old wardrobe mirror caught my attention. I looked at that face staring back at me as if for the first time. Was I also strange in my old familiar place? Had time done to me what it had to everything and everyone else? Did I need to look at this old world with new eyes?
I sighed and closed my old/new eyes. As I fell asleep, I felt peace wash over me. My memories might have been aged, battered and bruised, but home was still home. There really is no place like home.