Last Friday I had the chance to go back to Whidbey Island and visit the students at Crescent Harbor Elementary. Like a lot of the students in the library that afternoon, I’m a Navy brat. That means answering the question, “Where are you from?” always takes a beat or two to answer.
To me, where I’m from is a place I’ve never really lived.
A few months ago I was driving I-5 north of Burlington, heading towards the Canadian border. The highway narrows there, hacked into the hillside, evergreens crowd either side. Home. The word was there. This stretch of freeway leads to the little town where I was born and lived for the first few years of my life.
I think for every military family there is a place like that—a place that stands for the idea of home, a place where you might not even remember ever living.
But long ago–probably when I was about the age of the kids I was talking to last week–I realized home is really very simple. It’s whenever and wherever you find yourself among your kind.
I definitely felt that way last week, in the library of Crescent Harbor Elementary, surrounded by young readers, and writers, and dreamers.
So to the classes of Ms. Ching, Ms. O’Toole, and Ms. Geer, thank you for making me feel right at home.