Is Home a Place, a State of Being or Both?
After finding themselves in a new place to live, generally far away from where they grew up, I’ve often heard people say, “When I go back home…” with a longing in their voices and a sentimental look in their eyes remembering back to earlier days. This often continues until relationships and connections form in the new place. But ultimately, many people want to end up back where they came from, for example to be buried near to where parents or other family are or will be buried.
Having moved and lived in a variety of locations myself, each place adds a little bit to my unique compilation of home. There are the buildings and towns where I grew up as baby, a child, an adolescent and a young adult. There are my first place on my own, the apartments with my spouse and the places where my children grew up. There is the house where I grow older and welcome my grown children, families and friends. And there are the future places where I trust I will be cared for when I can’t take care of myself any more. These are my physical homes.
But home also feels like something less physical and more spiritual. I recall bits from a Native American story heard years ago about a girl (or boy) who was looking for a special treasure. She (or he) looked far to the east, west, north, south, over the mountain and under the sea. But the treasure was nowhere out there to be found. Finally, having nowhere else to look, the girl (or boy) turned the search in the only direction remaining: inward. There, the treasure was waiting in the most quiet and protected place. Deep inside was the special treasure only the girl (or boy) could every truly know.
In meditation, such as that described in this recording on Meditation by Alan Watts, one often repeats a mantra, such as “Om.” I find it intriguing that the sound of “Om” and “home” are very similar.
In my encaustic painting shown here, the circular shapes represent the spirit or self coming to (or going to) that multifaceted place or state of being called “home.”
Here are some “home” ideas and songs from others that you might like:
- Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating.
- Billy Joel’s beautiful song, “You’re my Home.”
- Roger Hodgson, co-founder of the band Supertramp, sings “Take the Long Way Home.”
- Simon & Garfunkel’s classic song “Homeward Bound.”
- “There’s no place like home,” repeated three times by Dorothy Gale while clicking her ruby shoes together in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz.
Where or what is your home? Are you seeking it? Are you already there?
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