Friday, January 23, 2009

Your Home Delivered.

Coming home is an odd feeling. For many people, it means a reunion with their comfy couch, their warm bed, the television, and no bellboys to tip. But what is "home" exactly?

On the plane from my trip to Germany, I knew I was 'home' when I saw the march of blurry yellow blocks on the road. These cheesy buses carried children after a day of school at 3:30PM. These children were going back to a house with their family and would probably say that home was where they sleep, their parents make dinner, their dog Buttons greets them at the door. But what was home for me? My heart leaped into my lap when I realized we were flying over the city. It was this place that I felt I belonged to and it to me.

Home to me has never meant one specific place. Throughout my childhood I moved from one apartment to the next- perhaps once every year and sometimes more than three times in a six-month period after my parent's divorce. They say that moving is one of the three most stressful events someone can experience- is this due to the physical location or the mental reallocation of what "home" is that does it to us?

After a few years of college, I've moved from a dormitory to renting out a room to what is now my cozy apartment. But really, I've learned, it is what my apartment contains. Outfitted with Ikea furniture, my roommate, my laptop, pictures and other remnants of memories, it leads me to believe that home is not the physical place where you sleep. For years, I felt at home at my summer camp- a place that kept me secure and healthy despite all the trouble in my world outside of it. But besides the beautiful lake, it was and still is the people that brought me back.

Is home the feeling of warmth, of memories, the feeling of accomplishment after knitting a sweater, finishing a novel, that first tear from a sad but moving film, or perhaps that moment where your heart stops in a lover's arms because all you feel is tingly numbness? Are our homes ever-changing as we grow older appreciating that we find comfort in many different places? They (whoever "they" are) say that home is where the heart is and I'm beginning to really understand what that means. The line between residence, the place where we lay our heads to rest and the true feelings of where we long to be can be completely opposite. I can only hope that one day I can rest my head where I have longed to be for so long and finally feel that I am truly "home"

Mission 16:
1) Answer this: Where do you feel most at home? Think of where you long to be and where warmth surrounds you? Are you there? How can you get there?

2) Take it further and have fun: Draw, paint, or map out the answer to these questions.

3) Post it here and compare with fellow BreTSA followers.


Bibliophile said...

So, you already know one of my answers to this question.

My other answer is that I feel most at home in nature. When I was in Scandinavia a few years ago, I was on a bus traveling through the mountains in southwestern Norway. Part of the way up these mountains, there was a pockmarking of these beautiful glacier lakes all over these very small rolling hills. A little further along, when the lakes became more sparse, these tiny cottages with green roofs started popping up. They were approximately the size of a large closet, big enough for one person to live alone, perhaps with nothing more than a mat on the floor and a wood stove. In the sky were these incredibly thin, wispy clouds. They were so thin the water vapor molecules in them acted like prisms and cast a spectrum so the clouds looked like substantial floating rainbows. When I saw this magical place, I wanted to set up camp right there for the summer (winter in Norway in such conditions would be foolish for a non-native), where the sky was just upstairs and there was no one to be seen for miles.

Also, anywhere there are abundant trees is home to me. Anywhere there is an ocean. Anywhere I am living in cooperation and exchange with my companions. That is home.

Where my bed is, where I return to every day, is the place where I live, where my things are, but it does not feel like home.

Mostly, home is a feeling, and you can't force it into a place where it isn't.

Anonymous said...

Partial answer: Whenever I am back in Colorado, where I grew up, and spending time with my friends with whom I grew up, I'm home.