I have this funny habit of never quite fully unpacking my boxes and bags each time I move somewhere new. On Olive Street, the back of my car was filled with blankets, books, and plants that never made it into the house. At the Paul Sweet house, I left a giant storage bin of kitchen equipment locked up by the front door, and on Felix Street I refused to hang anything on the wall, and had a full trunk and several taped boxes ready to go at all times.
Here in France, this habit persists. Of my two suitcases, one has remained untouched in the corner, and I did my best to contain my belongings in as small a radius as possible- the easier to sweep into a bag and whisk away when it came time to leave.
Sadly, this tendancy has always resulted in a sense of half-home; never feeling truly comfortable and settled wherever I am. No matter how long I live somewhere, be it two weeks or nine months, I am constantly filled with the impending doom of departure.
Shannon always did her best to convince me to feel otherwise, putting tablecloths over our temporary plastic tables or hanging curtains to hide unsightly walls. And although these gestures helped, the real problem is, I never really felt okay with the idea of being completely comfortable in a place I would inevitably have to leave. And yet, for a long time now, I've wanted nothing more than to be settled.
So, as I gather up my few scattered belongs today here in Bordeaux, a place I've called "home" for these last months, I can't help but evaluate what home truly is, and if I'll ever find mine.
Naturally, these reflections bring me back to thoughts of Benicia, and of my parents home. Despite having had every young persons outlook on the place that I grew up, I am rather fond of it now. Here, my parents have set down roots and invested not only in perennial plants for their garden and fancy doorknockers for the house, but also in the community around our home.
And this, I think, is what I really need. I want a matching set of silverware and dishes, to be able to plant asparagus like Barbara Kingsolver, and to find a place that I never want to leave.
Over the next three months on the road, I have a tiny bit of hope that I might stumble across some place like this, a place that I will want to be forever and can settle down in my nest of presidential themed forks and knives with a box full of honeybees. I have the slightest inkling however, that home just might be the place I left behind.
We shall see...