Sunday, March 31, 2019

A forever home.

The concept of home -- specifically, the concept of a forever home -- is intriguing me this week.

SergeyNivens | Deposit Photos

We talk about how home is where the heart is. Going home for the holidays is idealized. When we discuss adopting a pet, we talk about giving them a forever home.

But home is also where you find it, as your adopted pet can tell you. And home may not be where the heart is if the heart was badly hurt there, through abuse or neglect.

Lots of people have become nomads. It's estimated that 40 million Americans move every year at least once. That's 40 percent of us. Some may move for work and some for retirement or other reasons. And certainly, many of them may have an idealized vision of their forever home in their heads -- maybe they lived there once and want to move back, or maybe they believe, or at least would like to think, they're moving there now.

And sometimes you think you've found your forever home, but things change and you find yourself moving on.

Home is sort of a sub-subplot in Rivers Run. Collum Barth is a gnome -- an Earth Elemental -- whose family has lived in (or near) Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, for centuries. He has put down roots there, as an Earth Elemental would. He is the family home, and by extension the region surrounding it.

But he's the only one left. His brother left for college and when he returned, he settled nearby -- but not in the old family home. Collum's parents, too, have moved away (we'll explore their new home in the next book, Treacherous Ground). But Collum identifies with the old place -- the one that straddles our world and the Otherworld.

By contrast, Raney Meadows spent her youth on the run. She's an undine -- a Water Elemental -- and at home in fast-flowing water. Her mother constantly moved them from place to place, sometimes at a moment's notice.  Now Raney is an actress with a beach house in Malibu, but she doesn't talk about it as if it's her dream home. It's a place to hang her hat -- and submerge herself in the soaking tub and the swimming pool. But a forever home? She may not have one.

I'm not sure I have one, either. Unlike Raney, I didn't move around a whole lot as a kid. But unlike Collum, I haven't lived in one place all my life, either. When I was in radio, I moved around a lot -- from Indiana to West Virginia to Tidewater Virginia to the DC area. Then we lived in Denver for a few months. For many years, I thought Colorado would be my forever home; now I'm not so sure. My current candidate is Santa Fe, but it occurred to me last week that I might not stay there forever, either.

And tonight, I learned that whole rural villages are still for sale in Spain. I'd read a few years ago about one village up for sale, and figured that was the end of it -- but no, apparently that one was the vanguard. There are lots more now. And they're cheap. I don't know how difficult it would be to retire there -- the EU has rules about letting Americans move in, after all. But...hmm.

As for Raney and Collum, I'm not sure where their relationship is going. Raney's career is in LA, and I doubt Collum would move there for her. I guess we'll all have to wait and see.

Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and I am rested and ready. I punched up the outline this evening and am ready to hit the ground running. I'll let you know how it goes.

These moments of homey blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.

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