This I Believe

Jordan - Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Entered on May 31, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Pieces of life manifest themselves in and around us. Some wedge themselves in the deepest parts of our hearts, and some become the light or the shadows flickering within the looking glass that is our eyes.

Some pieces pave our ways as we walk down the stretches of road leading us to a final destination that is home. We walk on these pieces with purpose; they are a bit like compasses: simple guidance in the form of direction. But unlike the arrow on a compass, our feet aren’t forever pointed towards the magnetic north pole. Rather, pieces of life shuffle our feet and confuse them, making them drift north and south and east and west, here and there and to and from, in search of comfort and security—in search of a place where we can close our eyes fearlessly and know without hesitation that we have finally arrived, that we are home.

Home isn’t some two-story yellow house with green shutters, a wrap-around porch, and a flower-lined picket fence. Home isn’t some dusty base one slides into to win a game of baseball. Home isn’t something that woman—you know her, the woman who trudges slowly down the sidewalk, weighed down by the garbage bags filled with her few possessions—home is not something that woman does not have.

To me, home isn’t a physical structure held over our heads to protect us from the elements. Home is a state of mind, a content satisfaction with the present, shaped and molded by life itself. I believe that the decisions we make (big and small), the people we meet (friend and foe), and the places we travel (near and far) are what scatter each and every one of us along our own unique paths of life, paths that lead us all to our homes.

Perhaps inside that house with the wrap-around porch and pink tulips growing along the picket fence lives a young man and woman who are fully and completely in love with one another. Their passion is something remarkable; it is pure and laced with quiet hand-holding and simple words and gentle kisses that transport these two to their own dimension. To live they need only each other, and thus in each other they have found home.

Perhaps the little boy sliding into that last base has found home not because of that base’s name, but because of the joyful cries of his teammates and the rare praise of his father. He has found home because somewhere within him lies the knowledge that this is only the first of his wins; someday, he’s going to play for the major leagues.

As for the woman who carries pieces of her life in the plastic bags she holds at her sides, I cannot tell you if she has yet found her home, and I cannot tell you what that home might be. Maybe she is still looking to discover something of her own, something similar to what the two young lovers and the little boy have found so soon in their lives. Perhaps she has so much life that she cannot hold it just inside her heart and eyes; she needs to grip some of life tightly with two strong hands and let the rest guide her towards what she is searching for. Wherever and whatever it may be, I believe she will find her home.