Everyone knows the Earth is like a giant magnet, with the curves of its magnetic field coalescing on opposite points of the globe — the north and south poles. Did you know that the location of those poles is dynamic, drifting about 40 miles every year? Stranger still, there is a relatively sudden total reversal of the Earth’s polarity every million years, give or take a few hundred thousand. South becomes North, North becomes South.
Recently, I have been living a life with two epicenters, two foci, my east and west poles. The Earth has two poles, too, but only one can be the North Pole. And for me, only one of my poles can be Home. I have a house, but that building isn’t my home any more than a red and white striped pole would be the North Pole. It might mark the spot, but a pole isn’t the Pole, and a house isn’t my home.
It was a gut-wrenching, tectonic shift when I uprooted my life from Montana and transplanted it in North Carolina. It was Dorothy in reverse, torn from all the color and magic of Oz and reluctantly dropped into the drab dirt and dust of Kansas. (Okay, actually North Carolina, but it’s pretty drab here, too.) And yet, in time, this place somehow, little by little, became Home. Like wind and rain shaping rocks, I was eroded by circumstances beyond my control, cracked and broken, scraped and scratched, worn down until I seemed to fit here. This became Home.
And then I met someone, someone so far away it felt like she was on the opposite side of the globe. We were drawn to each other with some mysterious, invisible force, like emotional magnetism. We fell in love, and I have been traveling back and forth, leaving Home to be with her Away From Home.
I was there with her again last week, and I swear the Earth flipped! Down became Up, South became North, West became East.
Away became Home, a seismic shift of the heart.
I took the red-eye from there to here last night and woke up in my house, lonely and homesick. Everything has changed. My Home is 3,000 miles away, and my house is now located Away From Home. I wish I could just click my heels three times and go back where I belong.
There’s no place like Home. There’s no place like Home. There’s no place like Home.