Homeward

by Carrie Bachler
I always imagine that there are so many different versions of myself, floating around in all of the parallel universes out there. I think of all of the people and events that have touched me, all of the decisions that have shaped me, and how different my life could be if I had turned left instead of right, met this person at that time, made a different choice that sent me spiraling into a different city or to a different job. Where would I be if I weren’t so shy, if I had more money than I could count, if I had been born on the other side of the earth? Somewhere there’s the version of me who lives without an agenda, who roams arm in arm with friends and family who are wanderlusts like me, who travels the world with a buzz and without a home base.

In this reality my home calls to me. It is my sanctuary at the end of the work day, on a weekend with no plans, or when I have been away for too long or busy for too long. It’s where I put my pajamas on after I walk in the door. It’s where I hug my husband and where I chase my giggling son and where I cook a warm meal. It’s where I read with my cat on my lap, where I crawl into a cozy bed at the end of the day, and where we drink and have fun with our friends. It’s where we have barbecues late into the summer nights, where our cold December evenings are alight with the glow of twinkle lights, where we are professionals at hide and seek. It’s my living art project, where I slowly work on adding the essence of who we are into the floorboards and the walls. It’s where I feel warmth and peace.

As a person who feels such a strong personal connection with my own home, I have so enjoyed reading the different routes that our authors have taken with the Homeward theme. Sometimes home is a happy place as I’ve described, but other times the pull for home is a complicated, ugly confusion. Sometimes home is out of reach, and other times the journey homeward is beautiful and poetic. Home is a house, a city, a family, a feeling, a place in time, a desire that can’t be met. And sometimes, I suppose, home is exactly where you happen to be. It’s the Friday mountain or the Tuesday vineyard or the Wednesday island that my alternate self so enjoys.

We hope you enjoy our Homeward issue. Many thanks to all of our authors, all of our readers, and everyone who submitted work for this issue. Our next issue will be published on June 1 with the theme of Gravity.
Carrie Bachler is an editor at Halfway Down the Stairs. For staff biographies, click here.

© 2017, Carrie Bachler