Home means the place where one lives permanently. As I moved from place to place in life, for varied reasons (circumstances, education, work, travel), the word ‘Home’ turned ambiguous for me. There was neither a place where I stayed long enough nor a person I lived with long enough.
What or who should I call my home now?
Often times we wander so far from our roots that when we return, they somehow don’t feel like our own. Times, revelations, and experiences change us and others each day and though there’s always love, familiarity, and belonging, there’s just a reduced sense of ‘being at home’. I lived in my parents’ house, in hostels, in shared apartments and even tried to live in a tiny house on my own but I never felt like I was home. Then where could I feel ‘at home’? I began to feel insecure since everyone else seemed to relish in the idea that ‘home is where the family is’. I was homesick for a home I was not sure even existed! A Welsh word that probably most closely describes my predicament is ‘Hiraeth – a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past’.
Then, a particular idea in ‘The Art of Communication’ by Thich Nhat Hanh created an epiphany for me. It was something like this: “Home is the place where loneliness disappears. When we’re home, we feel warm, comfortable, safe, fulfilled. So every once in a while, close your eyes and feel at home”. The idea never left my subconscious mind. However, it’s only after 8 months of my first encounter that I have begun to understand the idea in its entirety.
Maybe home is not a ‘place’ but a ‘feeling’ where we choose to live permanently. Maybe it can be referred to a state of mind to which we come back at the end of a long day, after a dispute, after a failure, after an achievement or whenever we want to. We can build this state of mind with a perfect combination of love, peace, warmth and comfort for ourselves and when we believe in it, we would start to feel safe and understood in it. Maybe we can then share this newly built ‘Home’ with whoever is around us at the moment. Maybe we can also use technology and discover a way to share this ‘Home’ with the loved ones separated by miles since unlike places, feelings can be teleported!
So, after a long dry spell of homesickness, I have finally arrived! No matter where I go, I am home. ❤
Image Source: http://ooobleck.deviantart.com/art/lights-will-guide-you-home-292977272