Home. The word itself sounds comfortable, soft in your mouth. It’s a reminder of how you were raised, where you grew up, the person you were when you were young. Home is family and friends. It’s memories, both good and bad. It’s quiet and loud and familiar and where you have roots.
Home the places you come to when you leave where you’ve been; the new locations that become familiar in time. It’s the relationships and connections and ways you change and grow somewhere you never expected. Home is sometimes where you’ve known, and sometimes the definition changes as you return, or leave.
On this summer day, I’ve returned, again, to the home with soil that’s grounded me.
Iowa, where I became a woman, where I fell in and out of love. Iowa, where I learned to create myself in the spaces around me, regardless of how familiar they, at first, would feel.
I listen to the hum of crickets, watch the hazy flicker of fireflies in a distant cornfield. I feel the sticky hot summer air mixed with a breeze through the trees that line the pastures where cows stand and graze, not a care in the world. I breathe in Iowa—the dirt, the dust, the manure, the corn, the quiet.
And I remember that home is always, will always, be more than one place.