Iím homeless. Yes, Iím homeless. Well, actually, there are two ways to describe my current predicament. The first is to say that Iím homeless ó lacking a permanent place of residence. The second is to say that Iím extremely fortunate and have two homes.
Iíve been on holiday for the last month in Honolulu and although Iím on ďvacationĒ, Iím also home. I spent a good portion of the last eighteen years on the sunny shores of Oahu. The island is beautiful and will always be my home base. But itís no longer my home.
I found, over the last few weeks, that when people asked me if I was ready to go back to Seattle, I had been slipping and saying things like, ďI love Hawaii but itíll be nice to get back home.Ē In a text message the other day, I wrote, ďIím packing to go home.Ē And then sent it, only realizing later when looking back at the conversation thread that I referred to Seattle as ďhomeĒ.
At first it troubled me. Make no mistake, I find Seattle to be incredibly beautiful and would always recommend it to anyone looking for a great vacation destination. But, itís just that: a vacation destination. Not a hometown, not for me, anyway. And then I started to think about it. Honolulu isnít my home anymore. I donít live there, so it canít be my home. I live in Seattle now, so, is Seattle now my home?
I still havenít really come to a definitive answer. Iíll let you know if I do.
So what is home? Where is my home? Is Seattle my home? Maybe. Could I call Los Angeles home next year? Quite possibly. Could I call Manhattan home the year after? Absolutely.
Gertrude Stein once said that ďAmerica is my country, and Paris is my hometown.Ē Perhaps I should follow in that tradition in appropriate scale, and say that at the moment, Seattle is my city and Honolulu is my hometown.