This is not the narrow definition of home. It’s not the building itself, it’s not the site of your first memories or your relatives. It’s not the place where, as the poet Robert Frost wrote, “when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
For me at least — and perhaps for many of you who have also called many places home — it’s both more expansive and more specific.
Home is knowing where to buy groceries without the help of Google Maps.
Home is knowing you have friends who will bring your children home from birthday parties.
Home is running into people you know at the park on a sunny afternoon.
Home is the little tip a neighbor tells you about the vacation spot that’s off the radar. Or the can’t-be-missed restaurant.
And perhaps most of all, it’s realizing you’ve found your people, that you’ve shared a moment or a deeper conversation about something difficult with someone you only met after you moved.
Home — for me, for us, for my family — is something that exists in many forms and best of all, it’s something that can be learned and experienced anywhere.
As Herman Hesse put it: “But where paths that have an affinity for each other intersect, the whole world looks like home, for a time.”
And for now, with great appreciation, those intersections are here.
I’ll share more in future newsletters about what that means in the coming year for the community of readers and journalists that we’re still building, together. But for now, just know that I’m happy to be back, and back to work.
So dive into the stories below. Keep reading and watching, keep telling your friends to sign up for this newsletter, and keep sharing your thoughts, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in our Facebook group.
Because let’s be honest: Even though it’s summer, there’s a lot to discuss and a lot of ground to cover.
Here are a few items to get the conversation started.
Reinventing the Presidency
Whenever I read the latest news of President Trump these days, I think of this step-back, smart, sweeping analysis by Peter Baker, our veteran White House correspondent.
And this quote from a prominent historian: “We’re seeing the presidency completely and utterly transformed in a way I don’t think we’ve seen since before the Civil War.”
The Last Linguist
The maps of Australia’s Indigenous languages are a fascinating window into the nation’s history and present.
Now imagine what it would be like to be the last one speaking an ancient tongue — and then read about Amadeo García García, the last man on earth who speaks Taushiro, the language of a remote tribe in Peru.
It’s part of The End, our series about how we cast off our mortal coil, all over the world.
52 Places to Go (and One Person Who Gets to Visit Them All)
Every year it gets a little more ambitious and visual: 52 places to go, our travel guide to the globe.
Two of this year’s locations are in Australia, but the real innovation for 2018 involved a contest that will send one lucky traveler to every single one of the 52.
The winner had to beat out 13,000 other applicants. You can get to know her by watching her winning video submission, and by following her on Twitter or Instagram.
Australia Stories You Shouldn’t Miss
Everything Australia-related from all over The New York Times can always be found on our Australia page, and because there’s too much to round up since the last Australia Letter, let’s go for a speed round of recent highlights:
News and Perspective
• The dingo fence gets its due, with great pictures from Adam Ferguson.
• You could NOT have missed our exclusive on how the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation began because of an Australian diplomat’s ability to hold his liquor. Right?
• Our documentary on Mackay’s sugar love may or may not have driven Australia’s conversation about a sugar and soft-drink tax. You should watch it anyway.
• Here’s another provocative read: In Opinion, Lisa Pryor — Sydney’s most entertaining doctor and author — writes about the circus of pseudoscience and its compelling, problematic appeal.
Besha Rodell’s Australia Fare food column has kicked into high gear lately, with reviews of Hobart’s Agrarian Kitchen and Sydney’s Saint Peter.
Both pieces go beyond cuisine.
In Besha’s able hands, food criticism is an exploration of Australian culture and its place in the world, guided by the experience of food and drink. Even if you never visit these places, you’ll want to understand what they say about Australia.
Where can you see your Australia reflected in The New York Times?
Australia Diary, of course — our collection of reader-submitted vignettes, photographs, videos and poetry from all over the country. Send us your own entry if you think you’ve got something that will bring delight or deeper contemplation to us all.
This week, we’re looking for anecdotes about work and gender. If you have a moment in mind — awkward, thoughtful or funny — email us at email@example.com.
… And We Recommend
I’ve been reading a wide range of China coverage lately. Here are the three pieces that stuck with me the most:
→ Making China Great Again, by Evan Osnos in The New Yorker.
→ China’s Cover-Up, by Orville Schell in Foreign Affairs.
→ A Chinese Empire Reborn, by Edward Wong (my good friend and former Iraq colleague), in The New York Times.
Continue reading the main story