This home is herbs sprouting in egg cartons on the living room windowsill. It’s a basket of laundry on top of my washer. It’s the same songs on replay, morning and night.
This home is a fridge full of market goods: perky green onions in a glass of water, light brown eggs perched prettily in the door, and knotted root vegetables tumbling around in the crisper. It’s a floor that needs sweeping, and rugs perpetually knocked askew by my tomcat, who now stretches importantly and finds his place in a tight heap on my lap.
It is the half-read books on the arm of the couch, on the kitchen windowsill, next to my bed. It is the peculiar musty smell of the dark staircase and the potato parsnip soup boiling on my stovetop.
It is when, some evenings, if the clouds have gone and the sun is setting, my apartment is lit ablaze, rich light spilling straight through every room. Or, in the morning, the breezy spring light that makes me feel free and full of possibility.
It is the hum of cars, the raucous laughter of children, the occasional clopping of a horse pulling a wooden cart down the road outside my window. Some nights, it is the mournful singing of the coal train in the dark as it pulls lonely through the center of town.
There is beauty in everything.
I don’t always remember to write about my homes because when you live there, everything feels normal in a sense, unremarkable. But when I do go back and find certain writings from the spaces I have called home, I am thankful for the details that I have already forgotten. I’m thankful for that strange sort of nostalgia that sits in my stomach when I read about my past lives, the sounds and smells that were mundane for a time, but that are now precious to me, and so far away.
There will be a time that I’ll look back on all of this—on reading at my kitchen table with a bowl of yogurt and jam, of dancing around the hall in my socks to Fleetwood Mac, of watching the sun set on these particular mountains and feeling like the happiest person in the world. I’ll remember what it was like to live in this moment, in this space, in this stage of life.
I do not know how my life is going to change in the next weeks, or months, or years. I do not know what spaces I will inhabit, what other places I may call home. But for now, I have this moment, this life, this apartment. And it is indeed home.
Jenna Griffin loves foreign music, old cookbooks, public transportation, and sunsets in new places. After graduating with degrees in writing and French, she is spending her first post-grad year as an English teaching assistant in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France.