Meditations on the Meaning of Home

Where better to start than with a poet,  in the words of Robert Frost: “Home is the place that, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”

It’s been an interesting experience to find myself “homeless” after so many years; as I live in-between my previous house and my new house while all my belongings except for a suitcase and knapsack remain in storage.   Of course I acknowledge that I am not truly homeless in the worst sense of the word, someone who carries their worldly belongings as they move around trying to find the next safe place to rest their head.  But still, I feel this sense of detachment from the earth, of being uprooted, of not having a home.  The last time I had no home was right after university when I got a job with a travelling theatre company.  I gave up my apartment in Toronto and headed across the country for six months, realizing that I really didn’t have a home anymore because it certainly wasn’t where my parents lived.

It is this stripped down way of living that has me asking what exactly a home is; what makes me feel at home?  (Some people call dying: “going home” but I’m not thinking of that as my home just yet!).  For me, home should feel like the place where I belong but where does that sense of belonging come from?  And so I circle back to Robert Frost as I visit my new house and imagine where my belongings will be put and think to myself, this place is beginning to feel like mine.  So maybe it is all the stuff we bring with us, both real and imagined, that we have gathered over so many years, that makes us feel at home, where ever we are.

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