Yesterday in my book club one of the members mentioned that we read a lot of books about home: going home, finding a home, displacement from home. And it’s true. But then, much of literature is concerned with the idea of home.
Which made me think about what home means to me. It’s been a while since I’ve been still long enough to have what most people think of as a home in the traditional sense. One day I’ll do the whole permanent address thing again, but for now, I’m content to wander.
When I travel, I say almost everywhere I go, “I could live here.” I’ve said it about Ireland and Florence and Key West and Montreal and dozens of other places, and I really mean it, every time I say it. I probably could live in any of those places and be completely happy. (In the summer,at least.)
So what does home mean to me? Here’s my short list:
1) Peace. I’m not a city dweller, am not interested in the hustle and excitement and noise of a metropolis. I’m a small town girl. I need quiet time to read and write and daydream.
2) Nature. I need trees around, and green living things, and birds, and spaces not covered with concrete.
3) Water. The ocean is preferable, but a lake or river will do.
4) Books. I am lost without a stack of books beside my bed.
Otherwise, everything that makes a place home I carry with me: my upbringing and my values, my dreams and my passions, and the love of my family and friends, no matter how far I am from them. Wherever I am is home, as long as I remember who I am and where I come from and where I still want to go.
What means home to you?