What is home? I was recently contacted by a new friend (an old friend in soul and spirit) who has been inspired to collect stories of how we define home. Interestingly enough, I gave this concept a lot of thought a couple years ago. In fact, I think I can still find the journal (located in a bookcase close to where I am sitting now) and find my own self discoveries on the subject.
I grew up in the redwood forests and on the beaches of northern California. I remember feeling most at home at Samuel P Taylor Park or in the natural "forts" I would create in the front yard of my childhood home. As a college student and graduate, I lived in the mountains. My home used to be the same mountain I climbed everyday with our dog, Stella.
After moving to Minnesota in the late nineties, I searched for my "new" home. Having been seduced by such magnificence (ocean, mountain, tall tall tree), I longed and needed that same experience - here. Five years ago (or six?) I found my place. My husband and I discovered it by accident, actually, and we've been returning several times over the course of every summer. We camp in a tent on the sandy beaches of Lake Superior.
Home is where I feel at one with myself, where I feel absolutely complete without a need for anything - else.
Sure, I have other places I call home.
My physical home in the city of Minneapolis is the only physical space where I have felt the complete ability to breathe. This isn't the case, though, when I am outside in my backyard. And yet, being the love-of-nature gal I am, there must be a remedy...
Without sounding cliche, my husband is home. I can be with him in any place and feel as though the idea of "home" has come with me. We don't have to speak for hours on end. There is a quiet understanding between us. We can also laugh until our bellies ache.
Home can happen in an instant. It can be an experience I share with another being that is never forgotten or can be taken away. It doesn't have to even last that long.
My vocation is home. When I am creating, (and this can be in a variety of places), I completely feel at home.
Being the book worm that I am and have been since I was nine years old, a good book can be home. That doesn't mean it's easy to find one, though...
I am very sensitive to physical space and occasionally have experienced the feeling of being "homeless". I remember when I was a teen, moving into a house rental with my family while we waited for our future home to be built. I was always anxious in this space and felt very unsettled. As an adult, I have done what I can to avoid the reoccurrence of these feelings. For instance, I have been known to walk away from a hotel reservation after experiencing the physical space for only a few minutes.
I am more "home" now than I have ever been. I suppose this is because my ultimate definition of home is experiencing authenticity within myself. I choose the like for the company I keep. Authenticity is such a breath of fresh air, a place where one can take deep breaths.