How long do you have to live in a community before you can call it ‘home’? This morning I was thinking about all the places I’ve lived and how many of these places I would truly call home.

There’s the home where I grew up, but my parents moved away right after my high school graduation. If I return there now, 27 years later, I’m not sure I could call it my home.

There’s my college home, but my brief four years hardly allowed me to put down roots.

I currently live in a small town, where many families have been for generations. It is difficult to find our place here.

I think the most I’ve felt at home is the year I spent traveling around the upper Midwest with 6 other ‘strangers’. In looking back it had nothing to do with a place but with relationships. The organization I volunteered with was one that had a presence in my life since I was 14 years old. It followed me through college and after my year of service. It is no wonder that when the organization closed last March hundreds of people returned ‘home’ to celebrate and reconnect.

It is a longing to feel part of our present community that has me thinking about this. Being an outsider is difficult. But since my ‘home’ seems to be more about people than a place, I’m not sure anywhere will take away this longing.

So this summer I’ll travel 16 hours with my family to Grand Teton National Park to camp with two of my dearest friends. And in those moments, in that place, I will be home.