I woke up in someone else’s house this morning.
It was peaceful and I had the realization that it felt more like home than my home does.
I sat out on the veranda at 6 am, clutching my hot cup of coffee in my hands, and I watched the sun rise over the valley. The house is up in the hills, behind the Capitol Building in Salt Lake City, and offers a beautiful view of the valley for miles and miles around. I looked at long stretching roads toward the south, rolling hills to the east, lights and buildings and distant traffic, clouds and atmosphere.
My heart literally skipped when I looked up to see hummingbirds at the feeder. Two of them. Their wings flapped swiftly, in little blurs, as the birds launched themselves several feet in one direction, then hovered there in the air before launching somewhere else. I watched them for a full 15 minutes, these small and fragile and amazing creatures.
Back inside, I looked at the home itself. Hardwood floors and marble countertops. Soft lighting. Black and white photos of trees in snow on the walls. An espresso machine. Freshly picked lilies on the table. Comfortable chairs with pillows. Wide spaces and high ceilings. Air conditioning. I looked behind me and the hummingbirds were still there, visible with the entire world behind them.
I’m alone here, and that is appropriate. I’m house-sitting for a friend of mine, a man who came out of the closet around the same time as me, a man who also has two children, although his children are much older than mine. A man who fell in love with another man right away, a relationship that lasted two years. And now he was in love again, going on another two years, and he and his boyfriend had moved in together, in this beautiful home in this beautiful place, with hummingbirds and lilies.
In some alternate world, this was my fate. A beautiful home, a partner, a yard and a view, a place for my children to feel grounded and at home when they come over. My path has taken its own turns, though, to an apartment filled with furniture and toys that doesn’t feel like home, like the one before it didn’t and the one before that.
I sat down in one of the chairs, sipped my coffee, and contemplated where I am at in life right now. Things are changing all around me. Of my two best friends, Cole is in love with someone now, and Kurt is gone. My ex-wife has been in a new relationship for over a year. My sons are entering kindergarten and second grade soon, and the younger one is having his fifth birthday in just a few days.
And here I am, feeling more at home in someone else’s home than my own.
It’s a strange realization that I’ve been out of the closet for over five years now, and that I have achieved so much, yet I still haven’t found a home. I’ve lived in 8 different apartments in two different cities in that time span, searching for that grounding, that sense of belonging. But it simply isn’t there yet. I’m grounded in my own skin, that part feels wonderful, but I haven’t found a place to belong yet.
Much remains elusive to me, and it may always be so. Satisfaction, love, financial success, nutrition and fitness, things I continually strive for. My path is my own now. It feels like my own. I enjoy being hungry for more in my life. I enjoy the balance of the pursuit of knowledge and success and raising my children, at least so far. Despite all of that, it’s been a rough and strange year.
I look back at the hummingbirds. One of them is at the feeder now. It looks almost serenely still for several seconds as it drinks, it’s body not moving. But it’s wings… it’s wings are going one hundred miles per hour in order to hold it in place.
Then a huge smile crosses my face as I watch it, and realize maybe it and I are just a little bit alike.