“Home is where I can be myself. Where my outside and my inside are both recognized and matched. Where I am looked at and seen. Where I am understood or at least aimed for. Home is where my jokes are funny and my outbursts are forgiven. Where my silence is let be and my chatter is accepted. Where my work is appreciated, my laziness is treated with patience, my silliness is welcomed and my solitude is scarce. Home is where I am part of something greater than myself and yet home is where I am greatest. Home is sharing the burden and feeling it not. Home is where I am just a gear in the whirring machine, yet valued and content. Home is belonging.”
-Written (by me) for Letters from Home, Lent 2012
If home is belonging, we shall want it.
Who does not want to belong? I complain that women have lost their place. I do not mean the kitchen rug. I mean we have lost our belonging. We take the place of man whenever we are able (and we are strong, often able) but mostly we just give our place away. Am I woman? Who says?
We have lost our place, but society tells us that we never should have had a place in the first. We, none of us, should have a “place.” We should wander wherever we choose.
“Don’t bind me!” We cry. “Don’t leave me here alone!”
Yet we have bound ourselves. Bound our selves to taking other places and vowing to forget our old nest. In the nest, we forget, we were not bound. And we were not alone.
Home is not a prison cell. Home, in essence, is a place that welcomes us. It is a place, yes, but one with a candle in the window beckoning us, if we so wish, to come inside. We are not led home on the arms of officers. The doors do not lock from the outside. We are not a bird in a cage, but a bird in her nest.
By definition, home is where we feel a sense of belonging. Welcome. Peace. Our own needs met.
Why would we leave some place called “home”? Why, when we venture out, would we never return again? Why would we say that walking the fields is more satisfying than coming back to our den and curling up with the ones, the things, the feelings that we love?
Websters dictionary describes “at home” as meaning:
1. relaxed and comfortable: at ease
2. in harmony with the surroundings
3. on familiar ground
Therefore, if you are not at home, you are not relaxed. Wandering can be wonderful. Travel is fun. But home is relaxing. If you are not at home, you are not at ease. You are not in harmony with your surroundings. You are not on familiar ground. Wouldn’t you rather be where you recognize and are recognized in return?
Then get yourself home!