How many times did those words pass over our lips as we, the children of yesterday, sat in the back seat of a car driven by one of our parents, or other relative? I would guesstimate that not one of us know the answer to that question and to be honest, it is a theoretical one anyway.
Whether we were off on some exciting escapade such as a family picnic or travelling to Gramma’s for Thanksgiving, I know for a fact that I uttered the words more frequently when we were on the journey home.
Home, the haven of safety where our books and stuffed animals sat waiting on our return. Where friends were outside running around … without us and doing just fine. Home, where the food was always mediocre yet we, out of politeness told Mom it was great. Where Dad snored away in his favourite chair until you changed the channel on the TV set and then he would snort loudly … “I was WATCHING that!”.
As we grow older and begin to make homes of our own, the journeys that take us away from them are perhaps less frequent yet the ‘coming home’ is always something we look forward to and the journey seems to take much longer than the one that took us away in the first place.
So how is it that we can actually have more than one ‘home’ or at least ‘feel’ like we are home outside of the four walls where we place our possessions for safe-keeping and where the pillow has that all too familiar smell? I’m not sure I can explain it. It is an emotion that isn’t listed alongside sorrow, happiness, grief or love. Yet I know I have three homes.
I can see you out there sitting in front of your computers, your foreheads creased with curiosity as you try and figure out that statement. Three homes, that is what I said. Now I suppose you want me to try and explain that to you. I’ll try but no promises.
I have the home where I get my mail, where the bills are mine to pay and where when I step into the kitchen, I am the master of my creations, good or bad. Then I have my home which is a two hour drive and a one hour flight away in the beautiful city of Prague. The home where when I walk into the kitchen, I am no longer lord and master, yet still creator or dishes good and bad … some would say mostly bad since they bear no resemblance to their own.
Lastly, I have the home that is not material. Not made of bricks and mortar or wood and nails, yet safer than any building in the world. Where blood flows like water through radiators, hot and vital. Where muscle, bone and organs form the foundation of my home and skin is the paint. Of all my homes, this is the one within which I prefer to be. This home accepts me as I am, scars, faults (though I’m sure the faults would not be missed), and weird humour to name a few. This is the home that can wrap me in arms of warmth, strength and hope and lifts me higher than eagles soar.
Many people name their homes. Things like Oak Tree Rise or Beach View, but only one of my homes has a name and I did not decide it. Yet even at my age, I never fail to wonder when on my journey to this home … Am I there yet. Actually, that is a false statement, since whether I am physically with her or away. I am always right at home.
My home’s name? Angelika … and she is priceless, beautiful and my harbour from life’s storms. Thank you, Angelika for showing me where my home really is.