Guest commentary: Wherever you call home, may you find its comforts this holiday season

La Jolla was, is and always will be the place that writer Harry Cummins considers "home."

As the light dims on the final days of the year, it may be useful to attempt to illuminate some of the private places each of us has constructed to serve as “home.”

Places not bound by any travel bans or current circumstance. Places we return to often in our hearts for safety.

Of course, there is no standard definition, no single conclusion as to what home is. Each of us carries a divergent set of desires, memories and expectations.

Many of us speak of physical comforts and places of familiarity. Places with picket fences and noisy neighbors and rooms
where children laugh.

Others point to the deepest consoles of the inner self, a calling to a higher place.

Home for some is fluid. For others, it remains fixed.

For some of us, the winding road to freedom has always returned to our front doorstep.

For some, the image of home may repose in a distant cemetery, sweetly sealed inside us forever.

What then draws us to one place and not another?

What alchemy pulls us back and forth across cities and states and ZIP codes in search of a home? Maybe it’s Thomas Wolfe’s predicament playing itself out in a vagabond’s wilderness. Or a recurring lament for roads not taken.

Finally, of course, it’s up to each of us to make ourselves at home. However rudimentary, predictable, lonely or even accidental, there is no other place quite like it.

May your home fires burn bright this Christmas.

Harry Cummins spent most of his childhood in La Jolla and now lives in Portland, Ore. La Jolla is, and forever will be, the place he returns to as “home.”