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Existential Ponderings from a Vagabond Heart

By E.N. GusslerPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
"Necropolis Gate - Glasgow, Scotland" (c) E.N. Gussler

Like the breath of death upon the back of my neck I feel the burning warmth of winter, stretched out before me, as it crawls up my fingertips and settles into my bones. There is something indescribable about the thundering silence of a snow blanketed scene. Its expanse, a limitless suffocation, frozen in place.

Putting down roots only makes the feet yearn to stay far away for a while. The self-exploration that is inevitable when hurling oneself out into the wide world can be addicting, especially for those who seem to always be searching for a place to belong. It isn't long before the rubber band of the heart pulls it back to rest in the reassuring respite of home. And yet I find myself equally craving the wandering and the sanctuary of belonging in one place.

I often wonder if contentment can really be held within a single breadth of space for the vagabond soul. I have called two US states and two countries "home" in my life and yet, there are several places I have traveled to, which upon arriving for the very first time, felt like home for me. I'm sure that New Age Mystics would likely propose that perhaps in a different life these were places I called my home, while those with a more linear belief system would probably argue that they must simply remind me of home. Maybe I just feel a tie to places of my ancestral past. I imagine that the sensation of "home", for me at least, lies less in a destination and more in the going.

The constant movement of going, the inconsistency of reflective moments on which to chew, digest, and regurgitate the unique experiences I sieve out of the thick sand of time spent in that going, is equally as suffocating as standing still while the world around rushes by, paying no mind to the silent screaming of my feet to wander and for my soul to taste the new and boldness, as it lies stifled under a legion of expectations.

I don't believe "home" to be merely a set of walls or a pinpoint on a map. But it isn't ever changing like sand on the shores of a beach as the waves beat it down until it is nothing but memory, either. Just as a journey isn't where we begin or where we find ourselves when the going ends, but rather what happens between the two. Maybe "home" exists in many places along the path of the journey of life, each bend and turn, fork and changing of scenery bringing an opportunity for a temporary resting place which in that expanse of time and space, could be called home.

And yet again the very word begins to morph itself, bending and twisting into a preconceived mental picture and an assumption of its meaning takes root in the mind’s eye.

Home. Four simple letters which carry an immense weight. Close your eyes and what does your mind present to you? Childhood memories? Daydreams of future adventures with loved ones? Old age? Much like the view outside a car window, greens and browns whizzing by as the next journey begins, or the patchwork quilted plaid of the world below creeping by as the next journey ends, the scenery of life is ever changing.

Perhaps the constant of home is not where or what, but rather who. I can call any place I rest my head “home”, but the reality of belonging isn't found in the location but in the people with whom we build this elusive thing we crave and call Home.


About the Creator

E.N. Gussler

Writer. Photographer. World-traveler. Adventurer. Ohio State Alum.

A California native living in Ohio, I pull inspiration from my travels & life around me.


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Comments (2)

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  • Julie Horn2 years ago

    Your last paragraph definitely hit “home” with me.

  • Blind Brother2 years ago

    Home is surely where your heart is, but your heart can go many places and give itself to many things. So you will have many little homes sometimes , but only one real home , good article

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