By Harry Cummins
As the light dims on the final days of this most public of years, it may be useful to attempt to illuminate some of the private places each of us have constructed to serve as "home." Places not bound by any travel bans or current circumstance. Places we return to often in our hearts for safety.
Of course, there is no standard definition, no single conclusion as to what home IS. Each of us carries a divergent set of desires, memories, and expectations to the places in which we reside.
Many of us speak of physical comforts and places of familiarity. Places with picket fences and noisy neighbors and rooms where children laugh. Others point to the deepest consoles of the inner self, a calling to a higher place.
Home for some is fluid. For others, it remains fixed. For some of us, the winding road to freedom has always returned to our front doorstep. For some, the image of home may repose in a distant cemetery, sweetly sealed inside us forever.
What then draws us to one place and not another? What alchemy pulls us back and forth across cities and states and zip codes in search of a home. Maybe it's Thomas Wolfe's predicament playing itself out in a vagabond's wilderness. A reoccurring lament for roads not taken.
Finally, of course, it's up to each of us to make ourselves at home.
However rudimentary, predictable, lonely, or even accidental, there is no other place quite like it.
May your home fires burn bright this Christmas.