What does home mean to you? Today… ( well, yesterday really, because this idea has kept me up and thinking into the wee hours of this morning) someone was telling me about his home. Far far away in Poland, many years ago his parents waited patiently for an apartment of their own. Waiting years for the system to work in their favour amid bribes and under the table deals… waiting with their baby boy, for a home of their own. After seven years of waiting they got it!! 450-500 square feet of call-it–all-their-own space. Home.
He described the layout and the division of space for his parents, his sister and himself, within that 450-500 square feet with fantastic recall… and so he should. He was just there two weeks ago visiting his parents, in that same apartment, 40 years later. Same neighbors, same friends, same storage closet against the same wall.
For some of us Westerners, we can’t wrap our heads around it. Despite the current trend for minimalism and New York-ish compact living.. we are a hording society. So we need SPACE for all our stuff. And 40 years!!! We don’t have tribes anymore, but we are most definitely a nomadic people. Moving and moving and moving… bigger, better, jobier. Until I was 16 I’d moved more times than I was old! Houses, schools, cities, provinces. We don’t stay. We shift like sand. And as my friend mentioned today, we don’t have homes we have houses.
That same friend told me today that I feel like home to him. And of course that set the wheels in my head spinning.
We as a family here are preparing to move. Carpets have been ripped up, painting is being done, hardwood laid… it’s all exciting and exhausting and such… but it has stirred up a lot of emotions for me. For better or worse, good times and bad, this house has been a home for myself and my kids for 29 years. I brought them home from the hospital here, starting with Joshua ( who turned 24 two days ago… yikes!) and ending with Thaniel. As my world has fallen apart time and again, this is where I have crawled to lick my wounds and gather strength. I lay things down here. I shed my protective layers here. I rest and find joy here. This is more than a house. It’s a home.
Or is it the spirit inside that makes it feel that way? Is it the love shared here that fosters that feeling? Could I find home in any building? Or without a building? Or in another person?
Of course. ( sure sure … that’s Polish for “yes” )
I may be awake enough to expound on this later. On why I think it’s more important than ever to reclaim “home” . For now, it’ll have to be enough that someone found a home in me. I’m just going to bask a bit in that and try to get to sleep.