This week I watched a short documentary called “Tiny: A Story about Living Small,” and was totally captivated by the idea behind how we define home.
- Is home a place? The actual structure of where we live
- Is home the things we collect over time, to remind us of who are are and where we came from?
- Is home the people and relationships that we cultivate and grow over time?
- Is home just a concept, that you can create, shape, and remold as you move, change and grow?
In September, my husband and I left Seattle, a place where I had lived for 12 years. When we left, I truly felt like I was leaving home, despite growing up in a completely different city. For my husband, though, our move to France meant he was coming home. After living in the United States for 16 years, he was finally finding his way back.
We were homeless for almost 5 months, and now we have a home. Or do we?
I don’t think that home is really a physical structure, but at the same time I felt pretty out of whack when we didn’t have a place to live.
I don’t think that home is really the things we collect over time, since we sold or donated most of what we had before we left Seattle. Yet, at the same time, when we unpacked what we did bring, it made me smile--it made it feel at home.
I don’t think that home is necessarily just about people either, because here we are in a city where we have no friends and no family, yet I am pretty content. I know that the people I care about most are out there somewhere, just a call away.
So is home really just an idea or concept? I am not sure about that either. The other day I was drinking some tea that my mom sent me, and said out loud, “This feels like home.”
I suppose that home is different for everyone, and possibly different from day to day. There are probably people who can feel at home anywhere with anything, and others who will never feel at home. Some probably only feel at home with family and friends, and others who feel more at home without.
So for me, maybe home is all of those things--the structure, the stuff, the people, and the idea, leaving me feeling at home, and missing home at the same time.
How do you define home?