Home: a place or a feeling?
Home takes on such different forms for everyone: for most, it is made of bricks or wood, for some, it’s wherever they pitch their tent.
It is a geographical space, the place we call “home”, but not only. It is the familiarity of the streets, the smells of cooking, the smile of the people we love.
We can rebuild homes, re-create homes, find new homes. Or we can be home-less, when we try to put our roots down into a soil that doesn’t agree with us or that doesn’t want us.
Our western world, and Australia in particular, has created a whole generation of people who migrate, often by choice. What is home then, when our life is about moving to a different country or a different city every few years?
We can hold on to the original home, the one we grew up in, or where we felt “home” for the first time. That feeling of belonging somewhere is precious, yet comes with a heavy price-tag of longing when we are far, longing for that easy familiarity of space and culture and language.
When we know that we won’t stay, we often choose not to put down roots, because we remember from the first time we left home how painful it is to cut those in order to be able to leave. So we may decide that our home is wherever we go with our loved ones. Home becomes the small microcosm of whom and what we can take with us.
What if “home” could be instead what we share with others? What if it were not a space, not a smell, not a taste, but a feeling? A feeling of comfort, of being where we want to be?
I imagine that we would end up with many homes over the course of our life instead of just one, all the places where we have lived and truly “met” others. I imagine the richness of our minds, being familiar with more places, more cultures, more people…
What if “being home” were a choice we made, every day anew?