What is ‘Home’?

22 Sep

Inside yourself, you will find ‘Home.’

High desert in New Mexico

High desert in New Mexico

 What is ‘Home’?

Home. That place, or state that we refer to all the time. But what, or where is it?

This often arises in personal discussions, more so recently. ‘Home’ can mean many things to different people. Home may be where we grew up, where our families are, where we live, a place where we lived and felt loved or safe, a place where we are surrounded by friends and the familiar. A place we lost or have gained. Home may simply be where your feet are right now.

‘Home’ can also be anywhere, any place, at different times.

The other day I read a story written by a woman, Asha Patel, staying in Tokyo. Frustrated with a strange and impenetrable culture, an inability to communicate and homesickness, she fled to a forest along the ocean. There she did not find the solitude and solace she hoped for, and returned to the city to discover a revelation:

“….I realized my struggle to conform was futile, for it was from within me that a sense of home, a sense of belonging was to be found….. And so it was that I finally found home. Not in the familiar confines of my own country, but a deeper, more definite sense of belonging that is available when one opens her heart to the infinite possibility that life is.”

Later she wrote, “And so it is that the ebb of life continues to flow, and beautifully illustrates that I have evolved, transformed by that wonderful gift we call travel.”

Franz Fanon wrote, “In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly recreating myself.” There is something about traveling: taking your soul for a ride, different places and people that are unfamiliar. It allows you to evolve, grow and become the person that you are inside. While some search for feeling at home, others find that their ‘Home’ goes with them.

When you travel or move to other places, you pick up pieces that form or recreate new ideas, feelings, and opinions. You also leave pieces of yourself behind. Sometimes you can never recover those pieces. But they leave ghosts that talk to you for the rest of your life. Other times, you might find that once you leave, you can never ‘go home.’ Simply because when you return, you are often a different person, temporally and spatially. Everything changes, including us.

“Home is where you hang your hat,” or your helmet. It is not a place, but a state of mind. Inside and outside, when the two meld in harmony. It is a connection felt inside and outside of you. It can fit inside the pocket of your memories and being, where it feels comfortable. Like Home.

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