Lately, I’ve been thinking a little bit about ‘home’, what makes up the feeling of home and what this means to me.
As a child growing up in 1980’s, ‘home’ to me was the place I came back to after school, the place where my Nanna would come to visit, the place where I would play with our dog in the backyard and the place I would spend with childhood friends during the long and seemingly endless days of summer.
In my twenties home took on a different meaning. Home was a physical place to raise a family. There was a certain functionality to it. Home offered four walls and a front door and comfort within. Inside we were safe, my children were loved and there was always a steady supply of home cooked food to feed hungry, growing bodies. ‘Home’ during this time for me was a sanctuary, a place to retreat to after the busyness of the days spent running around after small people and their hectic schedules. Home was an escape from the outside world and all of the noise that was ever present in it.
Sliding into my forties on rather a bumpy route, the concept of home has once again shifted for me. The family home that had meant so much to me was dismantled and divided up. Possessions associated with cherished memories were released, leaving a heartbreaking void that had once been filled with love and joy. As I ponder now on the meaning of home, I find my thoughts and feelings aligning more with the feeling of home that one carries within. I think of how home can know no boundaries and it is the energy and life we put into a place that makes it home. A house is a physical structure, yet home is carried within the heart. It can be shared and expanded. Home cannot be taken away from a person when viewed this way. Home will go where I go and where ever I find myself, I will be home.
I am so happy to have come to this realisation. Last year I bought myself a camper with the intent of traveling to places with my teenage daughters. Whilst used a few times for this purpose, I have found that the camper’s greatest gift to me has been the opportunity to go somewhere completely different to my daily space, on my own with only my thoughts to guide me. The greatest gift has been the sense of home when I am driving somewhere new and unexplored, the sense of the unknown stretching out on the road ahead of me and the peace that I feel as I am driving there. I am absolutely at home within myself. This is indeed an incredible feeling.