Leaving often must mean looking for a home often, wishing the house would become by itself the kind of home you would like to come back to. A home that is warm and lived in, that tells stories of afternoons spent reading in the balcony, walls that have borne witness to both terrible arguments and the laughter of friends, tea and biscuits shared on brisk mornings.
Moving is never pleasant, except when you find something you had long ago given up as lost. Moving is stepping over sharp objects as you wonder how you ended up with so many things, even after making partially successful attempts to live like a minimalist. It is picking something to wear out of a suitcase because you forgot you had to meet someone and packed all your nice clothes a few days earlier than necessary. It is the mild annoyance that creeps up when you realize you have to sleep surrounded by carton boxes and plastic covers, because your house needs to be brought down and set up elsewhere.
Moving is also the citrusy air freshener that greets you when you open the door, the fresh coat of paint, fine sawdust in corners that come from repairing shelves. It is the sudden joy that catches you unawares, because for a moment, you think you left your problems behind and almost believe you can start anew. You find out then that you never truly leave something behind, it is within you like splinters and scars; some memories that you retrieve with abandon and others that you keep locked down.
Soon this house will smell of cumin and incense, occasionally of cigarette smoke from the dying embers of a habit that refuses to leave, perfume and detergent. Soon there will be stains on the carpet, grease in places you can never hope to get out, hair in the bathroom and furniture you can live without. Soon a bedroom will emerge, that you will attempt to make cozy, a kitchen that you wish to be bright and spotless, a study into which you retreat, a couch for you to be lazy in. Soon it will be a home.
But you’ve always carried your home with you.