Driving away from the farm today I came to the realization that the place I’m referring to when I say, “I’m going home.” is not the place that is home in my heart. My house, while still the place I mean when I say “home,” is really just a structure in which my home resides part-time. Home has become my husband and children. Looking into their eyes and holding them in my arms is home. Home is the feeling of safety, security, love, and comfort. It’s also something inside of me that takes over whenever I feel grounded.
Growing up I never really analyzed the feeling of home. It was where I slept at night, received meals, and played. Looking back I had a multitude of places that I would now consider home. The town, my relatives and friends, school, and work were all things that gave me incredible comfort. They are also things that if they were taken away would have left a great void in my life. That’s home, something that when taken away leaves an empty space. I’ve lost some of these homes and have come to rely on memory to take me down hallways and through doors that are no longer physically available to me.
Home is also any place that I can dump my emotional baggage on the front step and walk in unencumbered or if I chose can bring the chaos with me and get help unpacking. At one time it was an uncle who was always there to listen, the shop where I could go and dream of being anything I wanted, my parents who supported me no matter what. Added to these now are my husband who definitely gets the brunt of emotional mess, a great friend who has become my personal counselor, and my sisters both blood and in-law. My house could burn to the ground with all my physical possessions inside but I’d still feel at home with those I love.
My garden has also become my home. It’s stress relief, gym membership, confidant, dreams and goals all rolled into one. Here I have a feeling of security, a sense of ownership and accomplishment. Digging my hands into the rich black soil I feel connected in a way that leaves me missing it when my hands are washed clean. Every time that we drive away from the piece of rented dirt that my heart calls home, I fight to remind myself that we were lucky to have this day here and even if there is never another, we made memories in this “home” that will last forever.