Those words, for anyone long removed from the later, are some of the strongest. They bring instant emotion even on a smaller scale, the words of a father on the phone at the end of the workday. Yet they can be tainted with nervousness at longer exposures, with an underlying uncertainty of what will have changed, and whether home as we remember it still exists.
These words have a new meaning to me, these past few days. For the first time in several months they again represent a space of my own, of our own. We no longer rely on the incredible generosity of our friends and families, whose spare rooms and couches, pull-out mattresses, aerobeds, and attics have sheltered us so well this summer. The door to this apartment is opened by keys only we possess, and the bathroom will be cleaned by no one else. There are drawbacks, the shower head slightly too low, the cabinets that do not close on their own, but they are our problems, and I relish the walk to the hardware store that will fix them.
Having mentioned already the secrets each new house presents, the opportunities to re-establish old patterns and form new habits I will only say that, in their absence, I had much missed my house keys and a place to put them.