I've always hard these little compulsions, little quirks that helped me find my place in the world. Like the way I rub my legs between the sheets because they feel tingly. Or how the stuff on my table needs to match the straight lines and corners. Planting a kiss on the plane's hull as a good-luck-gesture. Or something as simple as not stepping on the gaps between tiles.
I've finally found a word to describe that feeling. Frisson. A sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear. It's close enough because it's these little things that keep you grounded.
Like the familiar shoulder of home when you hug them goodbye.
Like dusting your shoes off before you come in, opening the door and finding a warm meal and warmer smiles.
Like opening your presents on Christmas night or sharing a feast on New Year's Eve.
Like watching a home built by two seeds spawn a forest, a welcome respite from a cynical world.
Or, like gathering the leaves that have fallen across the earth and bringing them before the great oak of the family tree.
Frisson is the word I use to describe the feeling of family. The feeling that when the world deals you a bad hand at poker, family is there to loan you a couple more bucks to try to win it back. That feeling of content when you know that you will always have a home, wherever in the world you are.