The Place Where You Belong

Vanamond: You’ve done your part! You fixed the castle! The Doom Bell rang! At this point, what else can you do?
Agatha looks at statue of her heroic father and uncle
Agatha: Wrong question. I am the Heterodyne. MY town is under attack. The question is: WHAT CAN’T I DO?

–Girl Genius, Comic here

Yesterday, I was teaching a middle school class about heroes in literature.

One of the chiefest things about heroes that fascinates me is the search for belonging; Whether one becomes a hero to protect where you belong, or to find a place to belong, a hero’s home is an important part of the journey.

This probably resonates so deeply with me because for so long I had no place to belong. From the time I was born to turning twelve, I never knew how long I would be in one place, and whether it was actually home. We lived in rented homes and apartments, and never really were completely settled. I cried more when we got rid of our car than when we moved.

Now I am grown, and living with my parents in the same home we have lived in for ten years. Although I would like my own place, I am in no hurry to leave–I have my own room, my own bookshelves. I know that when I wake up the ceiling will not look strange and unfamiliar.

Home is a powerful word. For it, wars have been fought, songs have been sung, great books have been written. It is perhaps because none of us are ever really home. Even here, in my home, I have no guarantee that a hurricane will not sweep away everything familiar and cast me adrift. I am not truly secure.

The longing for home, for security and belonging, this is maybe the most universal thing.

So I ask:

For YOUR home, for YOUR place,

What would you NOT do?

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