I may have mentioned that the Mrs. and I are packing in anticipation of departing from Sherwood Cottage. As was the case some three years ago, my employment status is changing, but I do not expect the kind of reversal I had at that point to happen to me again here; I am not nearly so well protected in the workplace as I was, among others. I do, however, find myself once again in mind of what home means; I reflected on it to some extent in the lead-up to moving out of The City, and it seems to matter again as I make ready to move with my family once again--and although we know where we are going, at least in the short term after my visit here ends, the longer term is far less clear. (The ultimate end, of course, is certain, but leading off the day with the reaffirmation that we're all going to die seems a bit dark, even for my often dour persona.)
In earlier reflections on home, I noted the idea that home is, for me, a place where my interiority begins to be externalized. That is, the home reflects the inner selves of those who dwell in it. The more such indwellers there are, of course, the more mixture of reflections that occurs in the home--but living together tends to result in people influencing one another's inner selves to no small degree. The examples my wife, my daughter, and I provide attest thereto, if only anecdotally. I was changed greatly by the love the Mrs. and I share, and I continue to be changed by it; I believe she was and is, as well. Ms. 8 emerges from that love and from the common experience of her parents, as well as our genetic legacies (both the overt and the cultural, since there seems to be some indication of inherited memories, after a fashion). Both my wife and I continue to adjust to the ways in which Ms. 8 grows and develops, and she grows and develops at least partly in response to the circumstances the Mrs. and I create for her. Each of us alters who the others are, and Sherwood Cottage has reflected that reciprocal influence, as has emerged during the process of packing things up.
Just how much it had done so becomes clearer with every box packed and stacked and made ready to load for a long drive away. Each one limits my ability to do things at the house; in a way, each packed box limits my ability to express and enact who and what I am, effectively limiting who and what I am. That it does so suggests how much of myself I have allowed to seep out of me and into the place--and I had not meant to allow it to happen. I had thought that the visit soon to end would not have lasted as long as it has, that I would find some more stable situation in short order and move on with my family years before now. I was wrong, of course, and I still do not have a stable situation set up (despite my work to that end). I have grown into this place, and leaving it as I will is far from a comfortable process because of it.