Next month I’ll go to the mailbox one day and find seven copies of the book I wrote, bound and printed in Italian. A long time ago, the publisher there suggested a title: Home. Just four little letters strung together. He told me that in Italian there is no word for home. There is a word for house, of course: casa. But everybody knows that a house is different than home.
If I was lost far from home, I’d close my eyes and see snippets of what makes it so. The boy on wheels in the backyard or front. A quirky littlest girl make believing movies with her pointer and props. A blue-eyed beauty with hair like fire in her polka-dotted robe. The man on the porch for mommydaddy time.
I’d hear music from the wireless speaker while dinner cooks. A tickle-y giggle. Distant wind chimes. The whir of the dishwasher. Sister or brother’s name called from across the hall. Life lived loudly.
Jeff lost all hope this morning and took a knee in the desert in prayer. It was probably right around the time that I heard Mowgli barking out front. I opened the door and called him in. He found us. He found home.
I’m glad we have a word for it here.