Monday, December 10, 2012

What is Home?

I’ve heard many iterations of what “home” means to people. All definitions are varied and all are relevant. But, the definition changes depending on the experience of the individual defining it. For some, home might be a scary place; an uncomfortable, dark nightmare. For others, it could be a magical, happy place. My personal definition fell more toward the happy side of the spectrum, thankfully, at least in relation to my childhood home.
But, that home is different now. It is empty. It is dark. It is lonely. It echoes.
A year ago I didn’t know how empty a home could feel when the faces associated with it were gone. I don't think I ever truly realized that a home is only a shell. No amount of upgrades can change the fact that the four walls of a home encompass a hollow building. And, given a few years left to the elements, it’s amazing how much nature starts to reclaim that shell.
Or, is it not a shell, but maybe a seed? Yes, maybe it is seed. Maybe a home is cyclic, like a plant. My childhood home flowered in my youth, in the magical days, and now it has withered and sets in a dormant mode ready to flower again. It needs water. It needs nourishment. It needs care.
But, I’ll never make the mistake again of thinking that a home is a “where”, because that would mean that it is defined by the property on which it stands. No, a home is a “what”, because it is what you make of it. It is what you put into it. It is what you give it, and what it gives back to you. Rather it’s a castle or a modest 3 bedroom 2 bath 63 year old ranch-style sitting on an acre of overgrown weeds.


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