The easiest definition of “home” is where a person resides, but it isn’t always where a person “lives” or may feel they belong.
Getting back to the actual definition for a moment, “home” has numerous meanings.
These include: a shelter that is a person’s usual residence; someone’s native country; a principle place of operation; and, an animal’s dwelling place or refuge. Oftentimes, home is where people currently are or maybe even where they grew up.
For me however, home is about where I feel closest to, where I have an attachment emotionally, some place that I consider to be a central part of my personality and my character.
Sure, I used to believe that the place I grew up in would be called “home” pretty much forever. Even after living in many different parts of the country, I didn’t give up that notion.
That is until I ended up moving to a province that my family and I would call “home” for a decade.
Maybe it was how we were treated by many of the people we met or the fact we consider the countryside to be wonderful and soothing, but it felt like we were “home” and that has never changed.
We’ve lived in a number of other places since the heart-wrenching decision to leave “home,” though not one has given us a similar experience or feeling. Even when we moved to the same area that I grew up and had so many excellent happy memories, it just wasn’t the same and didn’t feel like I had just come “home.”
Just the opposite happened. Despite there still being many people I knew as well as relatives and those I grew up with living there, I felt like a stranger that didn’t speak the language anymore. It made me think I wouldn’t ever know those feelings of “home” again, especially when we got a similar sentiment after paying a visit to where my wife grew up.
Yet, twice in the past few years, our family has been able to experience those grand feelings of what “home” should be like, even though we were just visiting for a rather short time.
Both trips we did see friends we had not seen in years, saw places we had heard about but never seen before and met other people for the first time.
And regardless of where we went, who we saw or what the weather was like, the time and travel and other things were all enjoyable. It was like we were “home” and all was right in our world, even if it was just for a few days.
It was great to catch up with friends and talk about how each of our lives have been since the last time we saw each other, wonderful to see how places we lived in had changed — both for the good or bad — as well as see sights we never got to see when we lived in the area, because now we had the time.
Unfortunately, we had to face the reality that we were not able to remain in the place we feel is our “home,” instead travelling back to the place where the sense is we are going through the motions of existence, not living.
I think the hardest part for myself is watching the rest of the family wonder when we can go back or, better yet, find a way to stay at “home” permanently.
For several years, we’ve been attempting to do just that, but there hasn’t been the opportunity afforded to us to accomplish this.
However, I think our most recent trip has provided us with more reasons and drive to see if it can happen sooner rather than later.
This isn’t to say that many of the places we’ve lived in were terrible or that there weren’t some individuals and things that we wouldn’t miss. There are always some things — be it an event, a place, people or certain activities — that will elicit a good memory.
But, sometimes those small recollections can’t outweigh or overtake what are usually intense feelings about “being at home” and all that it entails.
To the sights, sounds and smells, to the friends and conversations, to visiting interesting places or those that provide that familiar feeling, to simply knowing what to expect and how that makes one resolve things about one’s self, there is no better feeling than to be “home.”
Maybe that’s why the lyrics to a certain song, which many people may recognize, resonate with the way I’m feeling at the moment.
“Maybe tomorrow, I’ll find what I call home. Until tomorrow, you know I’m free to roam.”
So, I just have to wait until tomorrow, until then I’ll just keep moving on.
But that is…just an observation.