Home

Back home, here for less than 24 hours.  This trip felt long, like I was away for a month.  Our first afternoon in Amsterdam just over a week ago feels so far away - the colors in my imaginings are already washed out, the sounds are muffled.  There was so much in between that day and right now, and it all feels like a blur.  As I've unpacked, started laundry, and walked all over my house getting things in order and put back in their proper place, every detail has felt more stark than usual.  The line separating my computer from the desk it sits on is strong and precise.  I want to touch everything and feel its existence. On every trip - no matter how longed for, beautiful or fulfilling - I always, without fail, have a moment where I would give anything to close my eyes and be back in my own home.  The desire to see and experience different parts of the world will always tug at my heart, but I am beginning to understand what this always-present pull towards home means - that I need my home, and all the routines that go with it.  I am not one to plan the details of my life too far in advance, and I thrive on adventure and spontaneity, but I also need a certain foundation of calm that is based on ritual, routine and organization, whether I am home or anywhere else (it takes me about two seconds flat to embrace routines wherever I go.)  When my husband and I were on our honeymoon and fell madly in love with a bartender named Leo at Harry's Bar in Florence, we proceeded to go there three times that week.  We became regulars!  Last week, on our last night in Copenhagen - when we could have gone to any number of great restaurants - I wanted to go to the little spot near our hotel that was popular with the locals, the same place we went the first night, and I wanted the same appetizer.  In the midst of my travels - that are always teeming with beautiful details for me to swoon over - I also liked having little bits of familiarity here and there.

I have always had these two sides to me - the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants artist who makes a huge mess in my studio and the one whose after-creative-project ritual is to clean said studio top to bottom and get it all organized - and I need both to feel centered.  By creating a certain level of organization, routine and familiarity, I am free to stretch, reach and explore that much farther out of my comfort zone.  I love to travel, but I need a home to return to.  I love days when I can wander for hours without any agenda, but I need the days when I'm paying the bills, buying the groceries and making my own coffee.  I need to see the pictures on my shelves, and feel the softness of my own sheets; I need to be surrounded by these walls, and feel these floors beneath my feet.  This is where my heart soars, where everything I truly need exists.

Christine Mason Miller

Santa Barbara, CA

Writer * Artist * Storyteller * Guide