I was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, but have spent most of my life in the flatlands of Cleveland (where Cedar Hill is reputed to be one of the first foothills of the Appalachian Mountains). When my parents moved to the condominium in the Cleveland suburb where I grew up, they told my siblings and me (and themselves) that we would be there only temporarily– a year at most–as my dad, a chemical engineer who designed factories for the company that employed him–would be transferred to a new location before too long.
I lived at this temporary home for 17 years, expecting for much of that time to leave, seeing it as a way-stop on route to a more permanent home with a yard and open spaces. Years passed and my mom stopped looking for a new house. I still waited for our move to a place where I would feel centered, rooted. When I was older, I left Cleveland for California, for France, for Cape Town, and then came back to northeastern Ohio still tied to that temporary home, even while I lived in another, until my mother died. I still dream of that place, its nooks and crannies, and of its new owners.
The feeling of waiting for home– and of seeing the places as provisional — is, perhaps, a fundamental way of being. Home shifts and flows.