For as long as I have lived away from it, there was always something so comforting about home. Perhaps not about the place itself, though maybe, but more about the people there, about having the people who I loved so close and accessible. They are what made places home. Them, and the steadyness of just knowing they were there. Close. Hardly out of reach. If we wanted to, our lives could intersect. Kind of like 4/4 time. The kind of rhythm that is comforting and easy to keep track of and reliable. Whole.
Today my parents handed in the keys to the place I've lived for longer than any other, packed their car, and will head home to their new-old home, to Halifax, tomorrow. It's funny - in all the time I lived in that house, I never really thought of it as "home". Home was always Halifax. But yesterday, standing in my old bedroom for the very last time, sitting in the basement where I spent much of my teenage years, wiggling my fingers on the surface of the steamy hot tub water, all ready for it's new occupants, it broke my heart a little to leave it behind. While I have a soft spot for all of the places we lived before this one, this house was really where I grew up. And I have to say, growing up some more by walking out of there for the last time yesterday felt like I wasn't moving forwards, but going backwards.
With closed doors comes the realization that in so many ways, though not in the ways that count, we're leaving behind 17 years of memories. We're not really, of course. We get to keep the memories close to us. We just lose the place.
I have been sheltered and lucky to have them so close for so long. But I'm not sure I'm really ready for them to be gone yet. I'm not sure they were either. On the bright side, I get to look forward to really going "home" now and making new memories in one of my favourite places to be.