“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
What is Home?
I live in the mountains of North Carolina where most people who live here are from someplace else. Their stories of why they decided to move here are very similar. They were drawn here. They visited here and for the first time, they felt they were home. Very rarely do I hear a story with any rational explanation. Moving here was motivated by something deeper, something unexplainable and very spiritual. It isn’t just that they feel at home in a place; the home they feel is a community of like-minded people, the spiritual energy of these mountains, and the artistic and diverse people who live here. It is a place that touches their hearts in many ways.
Home Is Not A Place
In 1999 when I moved to the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, everything I needed to stay there fell into place. There were many signs that it was where I belonged, and I was sure that it was my soul’s home. But just as easily as things fell into place, things fell apart, and the five years I was there were extremely challenging. On the other hand, I began writing seriously and found Southwest Writers, a wonderfully supportive organization where I met many successful writers. The more I wrote, the more I felt at home in my own skin.
Make Your Home in Your Mind
Tad Williams has said, “Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it—memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.” I spent much of my life looking for the place where I would feel at home. I always seemed to have different ideas and values than the people around me. I equated feeling at home to feeling I belonged. The problem with all that was that I was looking outside for something I could only find within.
Edsel Ford, an Arkansas poet who was a family friend when I was growing up, once wrote: “Love is to come home dying from the world and find life there.” I often felt I was dying in New Mexico, but I learned to let go of my attachment to the outer and follow my inner guidance. I learned to stand more firmly on my own two feet, and all that led me to understand, home was wherever I was and the life and light I sought was within me.
Our True Home Is Our Spiritual Core
What we feel inside at our spiritual core affects everything in our lives. If we are at home in our own bodies and minds, we will experience peace. If we love ourselves, we will love others and they will love us. The physical place where we are won’t matter. It will be just another experience in our spiritual journey. We can be in Alaska, Africa, or Spain and feel at home because at the deepest level we are at home with ourselves and that connects us with all humanity on a deeper level. We are all One.
Love Is the Center of Our Home
The physical place where we are may not give us the life we need, but the friends, the memories, the desires, the energy of love we find with others can make wherever we are home. Growing up, my family lived in several places, but what made each house home was the presence of my family’s love for me. Love is the place we feel safe and accepted. It’s where we can be who we really are. It’s the spiritual center within us that we allow to open and gather in all that is good and nourishing, and it’s the place where we connect with Spirit and experience the greatest love that is possible.
Even now that my dear poet friend and most of my family have passed on, their love still lives within me. The love of friends far away and nearby feed the home within me, and I carry them with me wherever I go.
How do you experience home? Please comment.