Home: Equilibrium of Rest and Movement

16 Oct

If there’s one thing that little kids do well, it’s pacing themselves.  They play until they are tired, then they rest.  And once they are rested, they play again.  From biking the neighborhood to lounging with a snack and a comic book to playing kick the can, kids balance movement and motion with rest and relaxation in a way the rest of us should but seem to forget to.

When I think about home, I always define it as the place I can retreat to when I need rest.  My city seems to be in a perpetual state of motion and so I am.  Maybe it’s not Boston’s fault.  Maybe it is.  I am working, slowly, at giving myself rest time.  At letting myself sit without an agenda.

When I think of home, I think of rest.  Of lounging on the couch on Christmas watching hours and hours of the making of Lord of the Rings.  Of sprawled on the floor playing board games.  Of sitting around the dining room table for hours after a delicious dinner chatting with guests.  The hours I spent tucked away in my upper bunk reading.

And when I think of home, I think of movement.  Of the circuses we used to create on our swing set.  Dodgeball on the trampoline.  Biking in the parking lot across the street for hours.  Exploring the woods and the nearby sand dunes. The dreaded mile runs up the nasty hill.

The backyard we played endless hours of wiffleball in was the same backyard where we’d spread out a blanket and color.  The bunkbed where I slept was the same bunkbed that became a tree house/prison/space station (depending on the game we were playing.)

As a kid, I think I preferred rest.  As an adult, I prefer movement.  But maybe that’s because I’ve forgotten what a well-deserved rest is like.  Or because I’m so rarely home.  Or because, 6 years since I last lived at home, I am still in that transition of understanding and accepting that the concept of home has now disentangled itself from the concept of childhood home.  Where I live and sleep and host and park my stuff is separate from where I lived and slept and played as a child. And if I am going to balance rest and movement in my home, I have no siblings and parents to take cues from. I must find equilibrium on my own.  And then not think of movement when I’m resting and resting when I’m moving.  But enjoy the state I am at any given time.  And if I can find that balance, this city will feel like home.

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