Yesterday I alluded to the concept of “home” and asked the question, What is “home?”
Is it a house? Or is a house just a physical structure devoid of purpose, other than perhaps as an investment. Does someone have to be living in it to be called a home. Yes, that’s an easy answer. OK, then is there a minimum time-frame that one must dwell in a house before they can call it a home? What if it’s a rental? Is it still home? The place belongs to someone else. So it’s not really yours, can it still be home?
I have lived in a number of rentals that I never considered to be home. For me, growing up on a farm, that was home, as in the house our family lived in specifically. The barns and grain bins weren’t our home. That’s just silly. But where our family dwelt, where we ate, slept, watched TV, laughed, cried, and sheltered from the weather, that was home. And for me, that remained my home well into adulthood. Even after getting married and living in Winnipeg and even in Florida, I would catch myself referring to home in the sense of the farm in Manitoba, which my parents had actually sold by the time we’d moved to the Sunshine State. So my home became someone else’s home and I had to come to a new understanding of what home meant.
Fortunately, that wasn’t too hard with a wife and four kids. Home became wherever we were living whether we rented or owned. Why? Because that was where my family was, that’s where we all retreated to, that’s where we took off our public masks and allowed our true selves to show through, that’s where we spent the most time with those we loved. That’s where we made our memories, where we laughed, and cried, and fought (well, the kids at least).
Home is where we hang our hats, and continues to be today. From Winnipeg to Fort Myers to Plano to Durham, home is wherever we currently reside. Our roots might stretch back thousands of miles to another country, but we are home.