‘Home’ is often more complex than the physical location of your front door. Home is a deep rooted feeling of belonging.
I once worked with someone who scoffed when people said ‘I’m going home for Easter/Christmas/the holidays’. If they haven’t created their own place that feels like home, he asserted, then there is something deeply wrong. A parent’s house is not home when you are an adult.
But I think he missed the point. We assemble the bundles of associations and sometimes memories, recognise the culture that fits our sense of identity, the views that inspire and sounds and smells that make us feel safe. Who is to say the place we assign as home is wrong.
Oliver Burkeman in his Guardian column explored the same theme [it’s like] when you move to a new place and realise it’s where you belong. “New Yorkers are born all over the country,” Delia Ephron said, “and then they come to New York and it hits them: oh, this is who I am”
So we are home, finally after lots of travels. For some of you it will be a surprise because we have always written as though we have been home, but that has not been the case. Just three weeks ago we finished the final leg of our journey back to Brighton and now we have a house and studio piled with teetering towers of boxes making every trip to the kitchen and the garden an obstacle course. It will get sorted. Indeed already we can see some order emerging from the chaos. A picture hung, a bookcase filled, a vase of flowers in a 1950’s vase on the mantelpiece. The unpacking and deciding and laying out of our possessions help build a sense of being rooted again.
There is one piece of the jigsaw that went missing, distorted the fragments that made the picture whole. Someone offered something they could not deliver and so there is more effort needed to make this new world work. No matter. It will work; our drifts of project plans are filled with dense crossings out as things get achieved. One more project, a set of tasks to complete, although a challenge when resilience is low isn’t an unsurmountable barrier to being well and truly nested and snug in our home.
Our 1950’s doll’s house (which is a damn sight tidier than the real house!)