What is a home?

Is it where you hang your hat, or a place at which to make yourself? Is it a building, or just a space? Is it filled with familiarities and memories and cherished objects? Can it be temporary, relocated or replaced?

Home has been all of these things to me over the years. I've moved a lot in my life, and some homes have meant more than others. Be it my childhood home of cedar and trees in Castle Rock, a tiny dorm room on the 5th floor of Durward Hall, or a tall condo in the middle of the desert, home has always been a place. It's been filled with things of comfort - a grandmother's quilt, a favorite green bookcase, a curious black cat named Edith, and books...tons and tons of books. Sometimes my homes have been filled with other people - family, roommates, lovers - but their presence has always only been transitory.

In all of my life and all of my homes, one factor has remained constant: a love for Colorado. Among its jagged blue mountains and sprawling brown plains, I've always felt that permanent sense of home. In Colorado, I can be happy, safe, and successful. In Colorado, life's trials don't seem so devastating. In Colorado, I'll find a way to make my dreams come true.

Today, my home seems far away. And in less than 11 hours, I'll return to Colorado without an enormous chunk of my heart, and for the first time in my life, I'm not sure that Colorado - home - will be able to offer enough comfort. My gut sinking, I have begun to realize that home may not actually be a place...but, rather, with a person. Because no matter what familiarity awaits me at home, it will not hide the glaring absence of my one true love, my best friend.

I'm seeing now that home is, most definitely, where the heart is.

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