–The Head and The Heart
My home is on 7th Avenue between 33rd and 34th. Not actually, but that’s where my journey begins. From there, I have a three to four hour bus ride down the coastline and into Maryland. I say that’s my home, because from that corner, that point on, I’m in transit. During that awkward four-wheel flight, it’s like I switch my entire body into airplane mode. I’m on pause until I’m back in my own bed.
It’s miles upon miles of unfamiliar territory and it’s all very nice to look at, but nothing beats being home. I mean, yes, it’s nice to have a home-cooked meal. Yes, there aren’t words for how your house smells. And yes, it’s spectacular to have your laundry actually done right for once. But home, well it’s what makes me smile, when I say, “I’m busing back for the weekend.”
I don’t know what it is. For lack of better words, I’ll say I can’t put my finger on it. Home is not the four-hour bus ride. Home is not driving for the first time in months. Home is not access to a dishwasher or having someone else to clean up after you. Home is not wood stacked by the fireplace. Or the flowers in the garden. It is not plates set for dinner or a queen-sized bed. Home is not sibling rivalry. Nor is it family movie night. Home is not taking the dog for a walk.
Home is tradition. Home is birthplace and birthright. Home is my father’s name on the deed to a house. But home is also my mothers name on a recipe card. Home is standing elbow to elbow with my brother, making piecrust. Home is 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 sticks unsalted butter, 1-teaspoon salt, 1-teaspoon sugar and a few tablespoons of ice water.
But in the dictionary, home is a four-letter word. From behind a lens, home is a five-bedroom house with blue shutters in the suburbs. But from the runway or the freeway, home is where I’m headed. And from a bus stop in midtown, I know home is in range.
Every August, Sarah Lawrence becomes our place of residence again. We all gather from elsewhere, whether it’s a train ride away in Manhattan or a day-long plane to Chandigarh, India. At orientation, the first question we asked each other was, “Where are you from?” Pictures from Home is a closer look at the answer.