I feel most at home where my heart is

a+picture+taken+in+the+second+location+my+heart+resides

Emma Zawacki

a picture taken in the second location my heart resides

I’ve grown accustomed to watching the sun rise through my math classroom windows.

The lilac clouds swirl together in the wind outside the pane of glass, depicting outlines of mystery I wish I could unravel; they make learning about logarithms a bit more bearable.

The sun that streams through the transparent glass is an orange hue that seems to light up the room with a luminescent finish. 

It reminds me of the sunsets on a little lake about an hour and a half north—a piece of my heart seems to reside there year-round. 

She resides in a grey cottage that’s older than I am and older than those who come before me. That grey cottage has a back bedroom complete with old fishing wallpaper and a tube TV that no longer works; it’s about time we throw it out. 

She seems to breathe lake water and purely thrives in the smoke of a bonfire’s dying embers. 

Her heart is tired of keeping her upright as her internal turmoil crashes into her; she craves to be back on that beach. A place where she doesn’t need to be supported and her hands will inevitably be stained blue from tie-dyes gone wrong and her toes may once again feel the way the sand lays against the old linoleum flooring. 

Yet another piece of my heart resides buried in the sun-baked sand—this one is much farther south, though, and unfortunately visited less and less as she continues to grow. 

As exhausted as it makes her to peel her eyes open when the sun is yet to rise, she enjoys the feeling of shifting her hands through the pure, silky sand on the hunt for sand dollars too much to complain. The chill water splashes up around her calves, but she doesn’t seem to mind; she dressed warm enough for the weather. 

She spends countless hours soaking in the chlorine-infused water, only to shed salt water as her mother desperately combed through her wet, tangled, blonde locks.

And she never seems to be able to visit without contracting a case of sun poisoning, her dad always letting her borrow his hat to shade her face that will be a scarlet color until it begins to fade.

The lilac clouds swirl together in the wind outside the pane of glass, depicting outlines of mystery I wish I could unravel; they make learning about logarithms a bit more bearable.”

Her heart has resided there since before she knew how to swim.

The very last piece of my heart doesn’t reside near a body of water, although a fish tank was just installed.

She’s always found shelter in the light blue walls and the couch that sits against the back wall. Her happy place is room 139/140, surrounded by the people who, in her opinion, have the best laughs and stories to tell. 

If home is where the heart is, then I’ve never felt more at home than in that room.