I haven’t really had much of a place to call my home in these past four years. Some have told me that such is part of the college experience, the constant jostling and shuffling around, but it always felt as though that I’ve moved around more than most, constantly hopping over the pond and across towns for new apartments and beginnings. The physicality of a home doesn’t seem to exist for me as it does for others, but I’ve seemingly replaced it with this adoption and carrying of particular tokens, or traditions if you will, wherever I may be.
The third Thursday of November marks the latest batch of the Beaujolais Nouveau. Granted, it is far from being an extravagant wine, but the hype around it (stroll by any Nicolas) ramps up one’s curiosity. The wine, though potable, is not anything special to chase after; it having only been in fermentation for a few weeks reveals a rather light and young flavour profile. But somehow, I find myself still going to the store to pick up a bottle just soon after the cases arrive.
Then there’s Orthodox Easter. By no means am I religious, let alone orthodox, but there is something to be said about the time spent in Greece that one spring break four years ago. The time spent with friends and the simple friendliness of strangers was something that stuck with me, and perhaps to synthesize this hospitality into one singular expression, I’ve gone out of my way to cook up a Greek meal every Easter — roasted lamb, shrimp saganaki, and all things based in oregano (maybe minus the ouzo).
Perhaps there is more that has become ingrained, but little else comes to mind. There is of course the stuffed wild boar that I tote around, but he serves more so as a reminder than as a tradition. What exact reminder he serves is a bit difficult to pinpoint but I could perhaps surmise that it is a reminder of all that is good. But that is a discussion for another day, if at all.
In any case, home has merely become a culmination of these learned traditions, drawing upon the experiences and memories that have influenced me. There isn’t a physicality to it, but rather expressions – that is what grounds me.