The definition of the word home is this:
a) A place where one lives; a residence.
b) An environment offering security and happiness
c) A valued place regarded as a refuge or a place of origin.
d) The place where one was born of has lived for a long period
I think that’s pretty vague, don’t you?
My definition of the word home is somewhere where you belong, where you feel like you are meant to be or somewhere that you can always return to in times of crisis and be welcomed with open arms, no questions asked. I don’t think it necessarily has to be your birthplace, your home town or your house, because a house isn’t a home. A house is four walls and a door; panes of glass and lumps of sand cleverly crafted to protect us from the elements; the wind and rain, the beating of the sun. But it was never designed to protect us from emotions; words and actions that might cause our heart to hurt rather than our bones or skin.
We can have a house, but without feeling like we have a home, are we destined to become nomadic, unsettled personalities struggling to feel welcomed anywhere?
It’s an interesting concept.
My parents split when I was fifteen. As is the way with broken homes, both moved to new houses, and when they sold the family home that I had grown up in I moved into a house share. I was young and wounded, and it seemed like a pretty good idea to me at the time. Best laid plans and all that. So if I am defined by a) and d), does that mean that I am metaphorically homeless? I have never spent a prolonged amount of time in the residence of either my mother or my father, apart from this year when I have been living in (relative) harmony with my dad. Am I a refugee of this home scam?
Where is home to you? To me home is with my granny and granddad, in an upside down house by the creek. The bedrooms are all downstairs and the lounge looks out over the water. In the morning, if you aren’t woken up by my granddad whistling, you will wake to hear the sound of the clicking of the sails being buffered in the breeze; the little yachts moored on the pier waiting for their chance to go out on the open waters. You might sit out on the balcony with my granddad and have a beer, or go for a walk to the town with my granny, or you might visit the shed in the garden where the tooth fairy lives. But if you ever get the chance to go there, I hope you feel like you are going home too. They never ask why you want to be there, or worry you about what is wrong, but make you feel like you have just walked into the front door of the home you have always had.
So it might not be conventional (it seems nothing with me ever is) but its home.