Throughout ONE GOAL, the concept of home is defined, imagined, and reimagined. There are home games and away games. There are homes left behind -- burned to the ground -- and homes that are considered temporary. There are homes where people are wanted, and homes were people live in fear. For many characters in ONE GOAL, home is most simply defined as where family is. A place to keep loved ones together. A place to keep loved ones safe.
The word is found on 69 pages throughout the book, on some pages more than once.
Home as a place lives deep in the heart. It is where precious keepsakes -- memories -- are stored. Where one's beliefs, one's identity, and one's culture are nurtured and protected.
Over the course of the last two years, I have had many homes while writing ONE GOAL. The college campus where I teach; the college campus where I once studied. The house where my husband and daughter live. The many dinner tables I was invited to in Lewiston and the motel where I slept while there. The beautiful road to the Kent School, where I would visit Abdi H. and Moe during their postgraduate year. The numerous coffee shops, libraries, parking lots, soccer fields, and airports where I would set up shop, put in ear buds, and write.
Now I am back at my first home, on the side of a mountain in the Berkshires, trying to find the calm in the chaos of cousins, and prepare for what will come in the New Year. While I worry about so much that happened in 2017, I remain optimistic. Talking about hope as we ring in 2018 might seem trite, but as I learned throughout the process of writing ONE GOAL, sometimes it's enough to get you home.