Comfort blooms in home, familiarity

Abbie Powers

Art by Theresa Whang

A spring break spent in Paris, France was only 50 feet from its close. As my driveway grew into sight, I gathered some composure, forced my weighted lids apart and realized how far I’d come.

Paris is roughly 4,500 air miles from Columbia. I’d survived traveling halfway across the globe, exploring a dangerous, lively city for seven days and spending almost 20 hours total in the world’s scariest contraption, the airplane.

All of this risk was worth it. My week in Paris was stunning. I’d basked in fountains of flowing foreign language, immersed myself in streets of eloquently crafted architecture and indulged in too many pots of sweet and thick crème brulee. My mouth watered at the thought of crepes.

So as I heaved my suitcase from the trunk of my friend’s car and received ecstatic hugs of welcome from my parents as they rushed onto the driveway, the feeling that hit when I glanced at my house surprised me.

I’d never been away from home without my family for more than a week, let alone out of the country, so this feeling was new, or maybe more intense than it’d ever been.

Our large front window was lit up, glowing in golden light against the inky night’s darkness. It revealed the piano my mother plays so beautifully, sitting sturdily and shining black. My little dog, Louie, sat on the trunk below the window, still and staring out into the night reunion scene. Curly, brown fur covered his body, and his adorable, longing gaze made me love him more than I ever had before.

I’d rarely been as full and content as I was at that moment. I’d call it a feeling of relief, and I’m sure that was part of it. I’d also call it a feeling of comfort. But what fits it best, although somewhat vaguely, is happiness.

I was proud of the place I was coming home to. To see it sitting there, so warm and full of life and the things I knew, struck me with an overwhelming love of my home. It was my own, where I lived, slept and ate.

Home was where my sister and I used to talk for hours before we’d fall asleep and where we realized we knew each other best and always would. It is where my family talks around the dinner table. It is where people care, even about the trivial things. It’s the place that houses the people I’m going through life with, where we accept and live in happiness every single day because that’s the best way to live.

And the next time I’m feeling annoyed with my parents or itching to break away from the place I’ve lived for eighteen years straight, I’ll remember what I felt on that homecoming.

This realization pushed me to value the happiness held in my home. It forced me to stop constantly wishing for bigger things and to realize how much it’s meant to grow up somewhere so lovely. My family is my home, and even Paris wasn’t able to outshine the beauty found in the love of this comfort.
By Abbie Powers