Monthly Musing – May 2016 – Home
I’ve thinking a
lot recently about “home” and what “home” actually represents. There’s the bricks and mortar concept of
home, and that’s where my thoughts started, in a conversation with big daughter
as we walked around (yet another) university to see whether she thought she
would like to go there. She doesn’t want
to be too far from home, and that has been a big part of her choice; although
she is keen to spread her wings, she wants to know that she can come home
whenever she wants to. I’ve also been thinking
about my Dad’s house this week and I think of that as home too, even though
I’ve lived with my husband for longer than I lived with my parents now. It still doesn’t stop that feeling of
familiarity as I pull onto the drive and walk into the house, which smells as
it always has done and looks pretty much as I remember it from being a child.
definition of “home” is “the place where one lives permanently, especially as
part of the household”, but I believe there’s more to “home” than that. For some people, that never represents home
at all, so there must be something else that provides that same feeling of
security and comfort – for surely that is what “home” really means to us. It’s our anchor, our safe place, the place
where we can lock the (even metaphorical) door and keep the outside world at
bay. It’s not always something physical,
either. For me, doing some work in the
garden or sitting down to knit after a long day also feels like home. I can feel myself relaxing and know that
everything’s right with the world, and it helps me to feel ready to face
whatever the next day has in store.
It seems to me that
“home” is actually created in our minds.
It’s a place of comfortable memories, a place where we don’t have to try
too hard to be someone that we’re not.
We slip into regular routines but we are also free to try out new
things, safe in the knowledge that we can always return to the starting point
and (for the most part) it will be unchanged.
I think that means that we can also have more than one “home”, which is
an interesting thought. Mine is
certainly where my family is, and wherever we chose to live, as long as that is
the case then anywhere could be home.
That’s not quite the same as the line in the song “wherever I lay my
hat, that’s my home”, but more along the lines of “home is where the heart
is”. Our heads and hearts are closely
intertwined; sometimes too closely as we allow our heads to rule our hearts or
vice versa, but it just goes to show what complicated beings we are – and how
“home” is less easy to define sometimes than you might imagine. How lovely though, to feel that we can be at
home anywhere, as long as we choose to think that way. We are all anchored and free at the same time,
and that’s a powerfully liberating thing.