I am Home

          Home:  that warm, secure space where chaos turns into order ~ Antonia


This week at church we talked about home, and what home meant to us. Even before thoughts formed in my mind, I was overcome with a calm feeling of solitude and safety. As we meditated, I kept saying “I am home,” “I am home,” as my mantra. The feeling of comfort, like a cashmere blanket, soft against my skin, delighted me.

My home is my castle.

It is my museum, my space ship, my college, and my music hall. Everything I need to be taken care of, entertained, educated, and enlightened is in my home. It’s not about being palatial or grand, large or expensive. It’s about being a sanctuary for all that I value, including a safe place for my precious pet.

My thoughts of home are visceral. It’s funny how such a small word conjures massive imagery in my mind. I’ve never taken the place I always return to for granted. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a rental or a home I owned; it has always been my refuge of safety and comfort.

Now think of your home.

Home – no, I don’t mean that place where you pay bills and take out the garbage. I mean the place that gives you the most delicious feeling of love and well-being. I’m sure you have experienced the joy of being at home, or returning to that place that melts away all that ails you. For me, it’s “The crap can wait. I’m home now.”

Close your eyes and think of the feeling you get, after a day or two away – perhaps more – when you open the front door to your abode. You’re greeted with a familiarity that cannot be fully created at any hotel, relative or friend’s house, camp, cabin, or castle.

Your home belongs to you:  the sweet smell of you and yours (including fur babies) rising from a well-worn couch mixed with the lingering tanginess of last night’s BBQ, the plants or books or antiques and artifacts that you lovingly use to decorate your space, the mess or tidiness that describes it. All of this is lovingly you, even if you share it with others.

From homelessness to destroyed dreams.

I’ve been thinking more about my home as others in my community are not as fortunate to have this a basic need met. Like other cities, our homeless population is large and growing, while aid resources are practically non-existent. I wish there was a clear answer to solve this problem not only in my town but across our country.

You don’t have to go far in our wine country town to see burned homes — whole neighborhoods, nearly 5,000 structures. Now, ten months after the fires, a precious few are being rebuilt. I can’t imagine how the idea of home has been irretrievably modified for these people. Many older homeowners moved away after the fires, not feeling that at their age they had enough years to rebuild and replant landscaping.

Perhaps it is these fires that has brought the true value of home to the forefront for me. I never took the place I live in for granted, but I sure as heck feel fortunate now  to have a little place of my own to cradle my life.