To me home is comfort. To me it is a place where I can be comfortable. It is not like the comfort of an overstuffed chair. It is the comfort of being able to be my, guard down, unkempt, and relaxed self. I have had a few houses that were homes in my life. I have dreams with recurring themes that take place in dream-altered houses that are based on houses I have owned in the past; they are almost unrecognizable with two kitchens, secret rooms, and unfinished wings. Renting apparently does not create a dream worthy construct in my subconscious mind.
Most of the people who shared my childhood home with me are gone now. My childhood home is a memory. My parents home was a home, at least my room in it, on the unheated second story of that old farm-house was and always will be home in my mind. It was my safe place. The land around it will always be home to me. The house is owned by someone else, now, and totally unrecognizable as the place I grew up, but my connection to the land is so strong that I know I will always be able to return to a place that feels like home. Mother Nature was a real mother to me, and the places where I feel and smell the damp scent of rich earth with always call out a welcome greeting to me.
The home I live in now is one in which I have lived for more than 20 years. The cabinets my husband is building in the kitchen remain unfinished, as they have for several years. The trim along the 900 plus sq. feet of tile we installed ourselves is still missing. Our home is a work in progress by two intellectuals that will never be tidy and never be finished. I’m just now claiming it as our home as a couple. It is the only house my daughter remembers; we moved in when she was 11 months old. Her first Christmas tree was planted to the south of our home and it now towers over the house, shading us from the Sonoran Desert sun. She was the center of our life until she grew up, chirped her own song, and flew the coop in her own sweet time. This was and will be always, I suspect, Zilla’s home, like my parent’s home was and is one of my homes in my head. My husband and I have only been living here together, by ourselves, for a couple of months.
I like staying in one place. It makes me feel safe. There have been many times in my life when I did not feel safe. I’m speaking not so much about feeling physically safe as feeling mentally and spiritually safe. Home is a place where I do not have to pretend to be anything to anyone, it is a place where I can relax. Home is a feeling without pretense, it is also a place I know every crack, scratch, and off kilter bit of plaster, tile, and pipe. I’m one of those people who could not easily pack up and move. I can travel, though, and I suspect one of the reasons I so love to travel is that I have a home, a real home to which I can return.
I am so lucky to have this concept, place, awareness, and people who share it with me.