Within a few minutes of entering the house, my shoulders began to settle. I launched myself into a bag of take-away Mexican food, ripped apart an unsuspecting burrito and cracked open a can of coke. From my seat at the table, I could reach the remote control for the American-sized TV and flick through the film channels. I forgot work.
Mom, always eager to make the most of my time at home scurried around the kitchen offering me more food. I accepted a plate of re-fried beans wholeheartedly. I’ve always marveled at how you can be ravenous for ages and be full beyond capacity within five minutes with the proper help.
Dad settled into his chair in the corner and once I was done with the dishes, went to the sofa to join him. Halfway through some old film on TCM, I was drifting off on the sofa, my head supported by a stack of cushions and curled up under the fuzzy pink blanket my mother had brought me. I was home.
Whilst going through my things in my old room, I found old photos, my teddy bear and some over sized pajamas, which I’m now sitting in. I’m in what used to be my old study where I used to do my homework and feel like I’m 19 again, typing away. Only this time, I’m not studying for exams or trying to meet a deadline. I’m writing on my own terms, I can have a beer, I’m all grown up and can enjoy the things that are familiar with affectionate nostalgia. This is a different feeling from the desperate need to get away and explore the world that I felt when I was 19 years old and thought I knew everything. I feel calm.
I’m glad that I can relax here. The last few weeks have been hard physically and to be able to forget everything and be cared for, even for a few days is bliss. There are a few specific places where I feel safe, comfortable and alert without any anxiety. This is one of them. I know that a week isn’t enough time to be home and there are still a lot of people to see in the next few days and things to do, but after only one day, I feel like I could charge back into the office with my batteries at least partially re-charged. It feels great.
There’s always some place where people feel most like themselves, where they feel safe and where they have a chance to re-charge their batteries. Some people feel that way about home, some about work, church, at a friend’s house, a library…what’s yours?
Describe a place that makes you calm, where you can be yourself…
Writing Prompt: Safe Haven