This brings me to the idea of home: A place where you care about others and they care about you. For me that is a more important concept than to say it is the place where you live. For many it is a simple concept; you grow up in your parents’ home and then you go out and create your own. A home needs to be more than a house because that is only a limited external combination of location, possessions and function. It could be about the community or country you feel a sense of belonging to. Home could be a community of likeminded people where tolerance and cultural exchange are encouraged. A home needs to offer some heart connection so that those who live there can be fully alive and feel supported. For me it is more of a sanctuary than a straightforward shelter. It is a place where I can unwind and I can offer hospitality to others.
Nowadays England is more accepting of different communities who maintain the culture of their home country whilst creating a new home in England; having two homes. I think of friends who have left England for South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in search of what they believe will be a new and better home for them. I think of Caribbean friends moving to America, England and Canada for the same reasons. I myself was born in England and grew up in the Caribbean. Where is home for me? Do I need to choose? In my experience, time spent, key relationships, commitments and sense of belonging all have a part to play. Both England and the Caribbean have changed in the time I have been finding and creating my adult home.
There are many people without a sense of home even if they have lived in a land for several generations. They need to find a place that they can call home. Part of this I am sure is an ability to be at home with oneself. We would never find home if it is all about an expectation of the world continually welcoming us to some special place. We need to figure what we need and create that space in the world.
I know for me home is linked to a broader sense of identity and relationships. This may change over time as I continue to grow deeper into who I am and how I live my life. Listening to our specific desire for a place of refuge is part of our life’s journey and one we should take seriously – no one can create a home for us. Similarly we do not need to recreate the home we grew up in although we could consciously choose to include aspects of that which we found supportive and, by the same token, leave out that which we did not.
Have you found or created a home for yourself? Would you like to or does it seem unimportant?