Home is Where
Not many people are in Blacksburg right now. I like it that way, occasionally, and when I can I return from break a little early to look at the near-empty streets and see who’s left. Not a ghost town, not quite––to describe it as such may be a little self-centered of the student population. Not a zombie, either, something once dead and brought back, because Blacksburg has never died, but that’s closer. Sleeping, then, a sleeping town, and on a quiet day in the right spot you can almost hear its steady breathing.
I like to think of Blacksburg as my home; the four years I’ve been here have been, as I think is natural for college, especially transformative. And the deer, and the birds, and the little places where you buy coffee or glassware ‘for tobacco only’ are different rooms in which I like to hang my hat and rest my feet. But again, we start to get self-centered, because if Blacksburg is my home it is twice as much so to a thousand others. I live in one insignificant circle of a biblically-accurate Venn diagram.
I’ve been thinking a lot about home recently––mostly because I’m away from it for the break. And while I love my room, my apartment and the people who live in it, I don’t think it’s the extent of my home in Blacksburg. The border stretches lazily outwards, the edges brushing Christiansburg. I think the word ‘home’ implies a sense of ownership, and to claim ownership of something so grand seems laughable. So maybe––and again we return to semantics and definitions, concepts I enjoy––it’s more like a habitat. I feel comfortable here. I feel safe. I feel I know where to find food and drink and sunbaked rocks to warm myself on. I feel if I were framed for murder, there are people here who’d vouch for me. I feel if a 747’s detached engine caved in the roof of my apartment, I would have couches offered to me.
So it’s possible this blog is a symptom of acute homesickness. I’m not suffering too much, though, don’t worry––I’m happy to have a home to feel sick for. And you all are part of that home; you’re part of what makes it a home in the first place. So I hope you enjoy your break, and I hope the thought of returning doesn’t discourage you. I love you all, and look forward to the day our Venn diagrams meet.