A while ago I was reading an interview with Buzz Aldrin and the reporter asked him, when you look at the moon, do you see it differently now because you've been up there? Aldrin's response was "it's the moon we went to, but not the moon we walked on." That's exactly how I feel sitting here in my parents' house, a place I haven't set foot in in four years. I get along great with my parents, and we've seen each other a lot in the past years, I just haven't been this far east.
I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about being in this house. As you can imagine, a lot has happened in four years, and I wondered if I was going to find the ghost of the person I used to be walking around this house. Fortunately, like Buzz Aldrin I find that you can revisit a place, but you cannot go back to it in the time you knew before. My four years ago self is not here. There are parts of her that I carry around in my heart -- both scars and treasured memories. There are parts of her that have grown up with me, there are parts of her that I've out grown. But she is not here, I am here.
The house is familiar enough to "feel like coming home" but different enough that I don't feel like I've just done the Time Warp (it's just a jump to the left :) The very best parts are still here -- my parents laughing, music from the piano wafting through the rooms like the best kind of baking smells. The kettle is in almost perpetual motion. There are cats. They say that things get smaller with age, but the cats have definitely gotten larger. I think they may be mutant dogs, or small elephants. They have just assumed that I'm part of the furniture. As I type one of them is sprawled across my lap, chin lazily resting on arm.
What hasn't changed at all it that I still belong here. And that is the very best part of coming home.
Merry Christmas. My the ones you love best be close to your heart tonight, even if you don't have them in your arms.