Saturday, October 13, 2007

There's no place like home- part 3

Home from Home by Sam Toft
Home from Home

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.”

Robyn left a wonderfully thoughtful comment at the end of part 2 upon which I would like to expand.

Hi, the place I called home does not exist any more. We had a woodstove in the kitchen where mother cooked the meals. Mother had to sew clothes because there was little money. We didn't have TV or video games or computers or access to the internet. We had good neighbors and we cared about them. Today my daughter in law has four boys in the home and she stays there with them. Their life is so vastly different, but the one constant is that each home had a caring nuturing environment for children. When children know they are loved, no matter if they are raised by a single parent, they do not seek it in other places.

Parents who "walk the talk" make a difference.
Homes are not just buildings, but places where as children we should be able to safely find our authenticity before we face the big wide world. I say, should, because I am aware that sadly there are too many people whose experience of ' home' has not been and is not a good one, a safe one and who alltogether have a ghastly experience with regards to their shelter.

A shelter is not only a physical structure but also a place of safety, a place to retreat from the world. A place to lick your wounds, a place where you feel accepted, a place where there is a connection. The term retreat has several related meanings, all of which have in common the notion of safety or temporarily removing oneself from one's usual environment. A retreat can be taken for reasons related to spirituality, stress, health, lifestyle, or social or ecological concerns. Home is a place you should be able to retreat to.

Robyn makes the comment that the constant was a nurturing environment, thus home is a place you can go to where you feel loved, appreciated and safe. It could be a seat under a tree.

There is in my mind a difference between a house and a home. I have had that discussion with my DH lately as he looks at the building as a house, the fabric of it ( as estate agents are want to do), and I look at the possibility of making it a home. I love that phrase'at home'. It talks to me about being cozy, about being where I belong, about tending to the parts of my life and people that are the most important. Being at home means savouring the sense of safety and retreat, even when I am working hard. The world can whizz by but inside my home I am safe, tranquil, peaceful and productive.

I grew up with 2 distinct women in my life. A generation who had made a life of being at home and a generation where women went to work outside the home. I believe my grandmothers did not have a choice and made their home their world, my mother did have a choice and went out to work. All women provided me with a sense of belonging and feeling cared for, some were more talented to stay at home than others. I know that my parents loved me and yet their focus was on creating a financially secure home as where my grandmother who had no income of her own, was more successful at nurturing the cozy feel in my life. It would be wrong to say that my parents did not have time for me, because they did, but my grandmother spent her time with me and gave me a very different education, how to make a home. Both have stood me in good stead.

When a house is a home, the people inside it work hard to make you feel ' at home'. What does that conjure up to you?

Add to that the place you call home? Many of us travel the globe in search of employment and have settled in different countries. I started life in Belgium, Germany and England and all these places have added something to what I now call home. When you have all those elements, you express them in the shelter you have, bring them into the fabric of the house you live in and make it a home. Consider the following....where does your soul live?

“A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul.” Philip Moffitt

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