searching for here


On a Monday morning I found this book, a surprise from the boy I love, propped up on the smudged keyboard on my desk; it was standing at attention as if it had been waiting for me since sunrise. I used to think belonging was so painfully simple (haven't we all declared, at one point or another, some naive, entitled, almost petulant variation of "take me or leave me"?), but perhaps belonging, really belonging—to a person or a group or a city or a cause or a time—is a wonderful thing mostly because it doesn't happen the way fireworks or first kisses do, sudden and sharp. You have to seek out your place in the world, and if you can't find it you have to build it with two strong hands and one sturdy heart. You have to be steadfast: only when you are safely within the walls of your hopes, beneath the thick green canopy of all the things you hold dear, can you finally take shelter. Only then can you point to a spot on the ground, mark it with a pebble, draw a big crimson X over it. Only then can you say, here. Here is where you will grow roots, thick and valiant ones, where you will stretch your arms above your head at the end of a long day, a bridge to the skyline. Here is where home will be, and here is the place happiness will come home to.