I have been back in the USA for seven days. Jet-lagged and weary, my body has slowly acclimated to this time and place I happily call home — even though a huge part of what makes it so, my husband, is still a continent away anxiously hoping the first grandchild arrives before he departs Europe.
Home means different things to different people. As we neared the end of our stay in Paris, John and I were discussing “home” and what it meant to each of us. For John, home is where his heart is; and as I occupy a large part of his heart, I represent home to my wonderfully romantic husband. For me, home is a feeling shaped by a number of factors. One essential ingredient is my spouse, but there are others, a mash-up of time, place and people which mingles to create a unique sense of well being that is home.
This morning as I was making myself gluten-free oatmeal for breakfast (and seriously missing a viennoise au chocolat), a little bird came to pay me a visit, tapping on a window.
Each little tap ignited that sense of home. I became curious. How does a bird pecking on a window lead me to feel so good?
For me, home is peace — my safe haven from the hectic, noisy battles of the world. To help generate that feeling, I bought a place in the country 14 years ago. My kids and I dubbed it “Tin Can Gulch,” or “The Gulch” for short. Time passes slowly here. Spring, with its warm, sweet days, flings into summer with the buzzing of countless flying things only to slide into fall with its miraculous color – which drops like so many dead leaves into winter. I have watched the seasons melt one into the other over the years.
Yet, my serene haven is rather lonely without the noise of husband and children. Even those of us who enjoy quiet need an occasional respite from silence. Perhaps that’s why a tiny bird pecking on my window elicited such a warm feeling. Afterall, home doesn’t feel lonely or isolated.
Rather, home is companionship and comfort, safe and savoury, boisterous in its bounty of all that is good. You can travel the world and indulge your senses, but it’s really hard to top the feelings that constitute home.