When I went from seasonal to full-time Island dweller I thought it was temporary and then eight years later, when I left, I figured that was temporary, too. The Vineyard had become my home but in 2013, I was newly engaged and before my guy and I took the marital plunge we wanted to try living somewhere new. Our hiatus took us to New York City for two years and then to Boston where we live now.

Less than a month after moving to Boston we unexpectedly became expectant. We were living in a well-situated but too small, lead paint-ridden, third floor walk up, and so we gave ourselves a deadline: before our baby girl started crawling we would live somewhere more family-friendly. Maybe even the Vineyard.

But when the time came, we weren’t ready to leave Boston. We decided to stay in the city for the summer, a reluctant first for us both.

In July we came for a four-day visit. We found out that our daughter loves the beach; the sand, sun, shells, seagulls and particularly the warm, saltiness of Quitsa Pond. On the way to our ferry we stopped to meet some friends at Squibnocket for pizza and a sunset sendoff. “Let’s just stay,” I said as we pulled into Vineyard Haven, knowing that we couldn’t.

On the boat, I snapped a selfie with my baby just as she turned her head and reached her arm dramatically in the direction of the island, as in: “Let’s go back!”

For the next few months, whenever summer in the city got uncomfortable or less than desirable, I flipped through my phone to look at that picture, trying to discern some deeper meaning in the reach of my baby’s chubby arm. Should we move back? Is it time? What exactly are we waiting for?

To my sometimes surprise and dismay, the answer to those questions remains the same. “I don’t know”.

When I was pregnant, I figured that once the baby arrived I’d have absolute and immediate clarity over the “home” conundrum. But I don’t feel any closer to figuring it out.

Once I posted a picture of the George Washington Bridge on Instagram with the caption, “Home is where the heart is. But my heart is in so many places.” It’s a little sappy, but the sentiment is true.

Sometimes I feel nostalgic for my first solo home in Chilmark, or my first winter rental with my husband in Aquinnah. Leaving the apartment that we brought our baby home to was so emotional it felt nearly primal.

With every move, I comfort myself with the notion that home is more about people than it is about physical space. Still, we want to give our daughter a sense of place and a community to grow in. And with that in mind we continue to make our way home.

Erin Ryerson is a freelance writer who lives in Boston and Martha's Vineyard.