We’ve had thirty-three addresses in the last six months. Each pin on the Haven’s Path map is a place we’ve slept in Libbie overnight, and all together the numbered orange pinheads trace our mark upon the world.
Home Is More Than an Address
From one-nighters in a parking lot to multi-week stays, a few of these places have been our addresses long enough that we’ve had mail and packages sent to us there. So they’re all places we’ve belonged as much as any other over the last half year.
And the feeling of belonging became especially poignant yesterday when we returned from a long series of errands, groceries in hand, and deposited them on Libbie’s countertops.
Rachel and I looked at each other with similar relieved expressions: “We’re glad to be home.”
Home: our space, a place to exhale, our reminder that even though we’re actively on the hunt for Haven, we’re not in any hurry to get there. Our rolling tiny house has become our home, wherever we are.
And More Than a Dwelling
Before launching on the journey, home was an address. Everything about Haven’s Path is an experiment in moving beyond that. We acknowledged early on the true (if trite) recognition that home is where the other one of us is. That much grounding has given us enough solid footing to be willing to find out what living unsettled can bring.
What is has brought is the new realization that home is not merely about Libbie, about our things, compacted into 120 square feet that claim our place in the world.
Home Is How We Belong in the World
Because even outside of Libbie we’re becoming at home in the world. In our own skins. In the society we’ve sleepwalked through or floated above or lived apart from since we were old enough to feel different (which is very young indeed).
When one ventures outside a rut, much is new. For us every day is like this. And amid newness we all feel out of place, like we don’t belong, like we’re impostors, seeing everyone else around us be at ease, comfortable, knowing who they are and what they’re up to, like everyone else has it all figured out.
But they’re don’t. They’re faking it. We all are. Almost all the time and especially when something is new.
Here’s what’s becoming different for us: by dint of practice or necessity or an accidental enlightened shedding of unnecessary burdens we’re becoming at ease among the new, and discovering after too many decades that this is the way it was supposed be to all along.
This shows up as a sense of belonging amid uncertainty.
Most towns have a crunchy granola market where Rachel can find her gluten-free, organic, free-range, cruelty-free, farm-to-market, hypoallergenic, hyperlocal goods. Each hot wing joint we pass reassures me that all’s right with the world. Even unfamiliar town parks welcome vagabonds as much as locals. And every tree we hike past or camp under is ours as much as anyone’s.
Amid all this we find self-possession, a sense of home no matter the situation. Which is to say: not looking over one’s shoulder about whether we’re going to be found out as outsiders.
Because there’s no place we don’t belong.
Most of us set out to make our mark upon the world. What if the more interesting journey is to let it make its mark upon us?