Boston is actually quite small. It became a city in 1630 when teeny tiny people walked or rode around. (Despite how old the green line may appear, it did not in fact exist when the city was created)
I love imaging how the chunk of land bustling with visiting tourists, homeless wanderers, and stoned teenagers that we now call Boston Commons was once an animal pasture and public execution spot (these were the Puritans, after all, and they loved public shame). Which is a long, roundabout way of saying, yes, its old and, yes, its small. And this means that the airport, which sits smack dab on the edge of the harbor sends airplanes up up and over the middle of the city all day long.
My office is located on the 21st floor of a building, allowing for sweeping views of Boston and that harbor. It was a brilliant stroke of luck to land such a spot. But even on those days when the the sun is so bright and the ocean is sparkling and people are milling around thousands of feet below, my eyes always wander over to that airport with its planes carrying people in and out.
When I know I will soon be leaving the city, whether flying or driving, it serves as a constant reminder of that departure. And those days when I don’t have an airline itinerary sitting in my inbox? Those planes unsettle me. All these people coming and going and here you are – just here. sitting. maybe stuck? and most likely a bit lonely.
For a homebody, I sure do have an awful itch that flares up at any hint of stagnation.
And I think maybe it will finally calm down. You see, I’ll soon have a home with Selemon, who in the midst of all this moving and shuffling over the years suddenly and quite resolutely became home to me.
(Now, I will raise my hand right here and admit that if I had stumbled upon that sentiment coming from anywhere but my very own mind…most likely on some cross-stitched pillow or obnoxious pinterest board, amiright? I would have heaved with annoyance. But that’s just how things became, and that’s the truth.)
One day, my mind, quite effortlessly and without consulting me first, seemed to have shifted the whole concept of home from a physical place to this one person.
It happened like this- a Sunday night sitting on a bus traveling that gorgeous but sort of lonely stretch between New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I was passing the time in my favorite way, by taking advantage of the high perch a coach bus provides by pressing my forehead against the cool window and staring down at all the people nestled individually into their cars below. (For the record, my initial reaction toward people luxuriously traveling in cars is always a pang of jealousy- the severity of which correlates very reliably to how compact and quiet the random person in the seat next to me is)
Soon the envy fades and I sit there considering their Dunkin Donut coffee cups and notebooks sprawled on the passenger seats. I create stories in my mind of who these people are, wondering if they were going home or leaving home and suddenly, that night I realized this. That for me, home had become nothing more than that settled feeling that traveled along with the person I loved. The person who so completely loved me back. And the whole thing suddenly made so much sense.
And finally – and here’s the best part- that person and that physical space called home will be, for the very first time, the very same thing. And I’m quite overwhelmed by how good I think that will feel. I imagine my soul will be more rested than it has in a long time.
So this all means that maybe, finally, the next time I find myself perched high in the sky watching other lives come and go my eyes will take in a bit more of the harbor and less of that tarmac. And I’m really looking forward to that.