This word has been occupying my mind as of lately. I do not know why. I thought about finding its meaning, or rather understand my meaning of the word. Searching for an external definition to part from, I looked it up on Google. Curious enough, Google is my “home” page. Chuckle.
Google answered: “The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household”. Synonyms include: residence, house, apartment, flat, bungalow, and cottage.
I think it would be rather convenient and lovely to understand home as a cottage. I can imagine it, only accessible through a long drive into the wilderness. At one point you would have to abandon your vehicle and hike a trail for 43 minutes through a dense forest. You would be entirely surrounded by bamboo as tall as your eyes can reach, filtering segments of light down on to the ground. Perhaps you could try to grab a lonely ray of light that made it through the maze of bamboo spears. Perhaps you could not. Perhaps you would feel cold and overwhelmed amidst the neverending forest. Could you hear the sound of the brook, gently flowing somewhere nearby?
And there it is. The little house emerges from the forest and stands next to the ocean. The two-story wooden cottage is collecting moss on the corners. You can tell time and nature have taken a toll on the structure. The roof could certainly benefit from some care. A new paint coat would not harm either. The front porch, with its greenish couch, covered in a light spray of sand, strikes you as a lonely witness of the eternal blue waves in front of the house. The upper deck is yet to be seen.
I am home.
Am I home?
Wouldn’t it be grand? And wouldn’t it be comforting? To call an imperfect collection of brick and mortar, wood and stone, paint and decay, home. Wouldn’t that be something. And would it be worthwhile? To ask myself where home is, and be able to answer the question with the tips of my fingers, with the bat of an eyelash. It would most definitely quiet down some of our -excuse me- some of my deepest fears. It would comfort my most profound anxieties awakened and rattled by the everlong homeward journey.
And there it is. Home might just be a journey, and not a small, decrepit, decaying and beautiful two-story house with a front porch and a deck, overlooking the sea with the bamboo forest on its back. Home might just be here, there, or everywhere. Perhaps nowhere. It might elude me, like the light in the bamboo forest. Or I might be the elusive one. Home might be chasing after me, but perhaps I am the one not letting myself be caught. I might be the tail, and home, the gaping mouth of the pup.
But then I stop. Home might just be with me every step I take. Home is not the house where I grew up in and where I learned the most endearing lessons from my parents and sisters, lovely human beings who erected and inhabited that house. Home is not the city that madly enamored me with its Opera House, vast waters and beautiful skies. Home is not the house where I receive my mail and where I sit in this moment, on top of my bed with my back against the wall.
Home is, after all, peace with myself. Home is, in the end, the moment when I stop and listen to myself. Home is, before anything else, when I decide to contemplate the river, and not build dams to change its nature. Home, perhaps has always been, harmony.
I don’t think I can believe Google anymore.