Reshma is a new friend, a fellow classmate I’ve bonded with because I admire her brilliance and she appreciates my brutal honesty. She is a transplanted Indian, here with her husband who is some genius energy consultant for an international company. For whatever reason, we’ve latched onto each other, in that tentative Minnesotan way: first, we sat next to each other three classes in a row. Last weekend, we finally traded cell phone numbers. This week, we agreed to get together off-campus for a study session during Finals. Yesterday evening, while deciding where that study session should take place, she looked me in the eyes and said simply, “Come home.”
It took me a full 3 seconds to realize she meant, “Come over to my house.” It makes sense, in context, but I’ve never heard it stated that particular way before, so intimate and warm. Home is such a… sacred place. Home is different than “my place” or “my house.” “Come home” is what you say to a spouse, a family member or a dear friend. Home is a sanctuary. Not just anyone gets invited in.
More than likely, her verbiage was due to the fact that English is not her native tongue. But she speaks it impeccably, so I like to believe that she carefully chose her words. I like to believe that she purposely avoided inviting me to “hang out at my place” or “come over” or “stop by” and instead, very purposefully told me to “come home.” As we spoke hurriedly outside the parking garage, the deceptively cold night snapping at our ears and fingers, that thought was a little spark of warmth.*
Surely, no one can blame me for being in a particularly emotional mindset about the idea of “home” on the eve of a Thanksgiving trek back to my childhood farm. Of course, it also didn’t help that I started my day by watching this:
…which asserts that home is whatever place makes you happy inside: (Indeed, the ad itself made me happy — did you spot the Chicken Chunk lookalike?! And the tiny ‘Shimis?!)
Long story short: I had home on the brain yesterday, and a disarming comment from a new friend wrapped it all up in a cheery, welcoming bow. I wish that feeling upon all of you this week, as America celebrates one of Adam and my favorite holidays.
Happy Thanksgiving, strangers, friends, secret stalkers and other readers.
Wherever your home is, however long it takes you to get there and whomever is waiting for you when you arrive, I sincerely hope you find something beautiful there that you can’t ever find elsewhere. Be thankful for that, and relish that feeling — this week and always.
*It only added to my joy that she offered to make me authentic Indian curry!