Me and my wife recently had the need to move. It came quickly and it was our own choice and it grew from increasing dissatisfaction about where we were living. A 130 year old house with all the draughty and cold problems that houses of that age bring, is being swapped for a new slightly larger house and the inevitable problems that, it in turn may also bring. It got me thinking about what it feels like to be “home”. Initially it seemed like an easy one. It’s where my wife and child live, its where I go to retreat, recharge, feel love, give love and grow.
Is it a more existential thing? I mean the very essence of me came from the cosmos it came from our own sun. The ring on my finger, literally was made in a supernova, many millions of years ago far far away. I wear a thing on my body something made in outer-space and I am built from something not of this earth. If that is my home, I can’t go there again, at least not consciously.-All over the news is a semi fictional story about people being selected to make a one way journey in ten years to colonise another planet. )I say “semi fictional “as it is bound to be massively over-budget and massively late.) Will they be closer to home than us, as at least they’ll be off the planet?
Is it where I was brought up, where I became me? I grew up in different places none of which I would now call home, the nearest thing I could get to with this idea was that home may be the town I was brought ( mostly) up in.
I know one thing for sure, the bricks and mortar that make up my accommodation doesn’t make up home. That changes from one address to another. It changes shape and form and it feels like a soft but sturdy velvety case to contain and encourage “home”. Like a porous malleable skull is to my brain.
I went on a journey in the car on Saturday and looked at the places where I used to live. My first house, then , my second house -a little bit better and in a more affluent area. I looked at them and didn’t feel like they were “home” but I remember they did at the time. They look now like a reflection more of my parents increased prosperity as I grew up not of a journey through life.
And it struck me .“Home” is a feeling that you belong somewhere and that travels with you. As always, I belong with my family, first it was with my parents and sister and at University I struggled to fit in in because I was trying to make it home and forge a new family. I didn’t see it as time away from Home. The places I lived on my own never felt like home and the time estranged from Family never felt like home. Living with my wife feels home and living with my wife and daughter feels like home.
It explains why it always feels homely in my parent’s house, even though I have never lived there.- They moved once I left home. It explains that with my own family it always feels like where we are is Home. You convert that feeling into the building you are in. Defining your house on its own as your home is the wrong thing because it can leave yourself open to violation when the wrong people come through the door. The house is bricks and Mortar but it can help foster and help grow the feeling of “home” if its decorated right and feels warm, cosy and clean . It can create a feeling of security emotionally and physically, this contributes to “home” but it doesn’t define it.
I’m moving house and my home is coming with me. It’s going to grow and flourish, the bricks and mortar will help but I know, if I’m with my family. …..
I’ll always be home.