Home, where the heart is. Plain enough of a concept, one I’ve never grasped. “Home” to me, has always meant “the place where I’m staying,” sans the inherent warmth and glow and ties and sentiments that the word evokes. It’s simply a dwelling I come back to after the working day, shower, eat and sleep, a place where my stuff is stored.
The place where I was born and spent the first 18 years of my life, I call the Motherland. It was not home. I didn’t want it, it didn’t want me, and I couldn’t wait to get the hell out, even as a kid. Perth is the Great Escape (and I’ll warrant, a bloody nice one). I’ve lived here for 11 years and I’m pretty familiar with it, but it still feels temporary.
I guess you could say I’ve never experienced the concept of “home” as a safe haven of belonging and identity. And as much as everyone keeps trying to tell me I need to deal with my issues (what issues?!) and get settled, especially at my age, I don’t really want to. I’d love to never have a permanent place to call “home,” although I suppose it’ll happen someday when I am old and tired and mobility really is a problem.
But at the moment, I don’t want to be tied down somewhere, and have no good reason to be.
The idea of living in different places, never letting myself experience surroundings with complacency, light of foot and soul, consuming only as much as I need and wasting little, perspective staying fresh, is a wonderful one. I don’t want temporary travel, 4 or 6 weeks a year. I want this to be my life. I want my home to be in my mind, and that only. And yes, if anyone’s wondering, all of the above is partly why I’ve lived in so many places in this time. I also chafe at being stationary. Don’t have much of an attention span.
Call me idealistic, naive etcetera. I am, because I have no idea. But I won’t until I’ve done them, you know?
So of course, now that I’ve told you all of my thoughts not wanting a home, I also have to confess I’m fascinated by other people’s homes. The hows and whys that drive people to nest. The love and energy and time goes into creating that special space. How people change and grow in their homes. How, to some extent, they live for their homes, and their homes become so much more than just a place to rest.
Going walking is getting a glimpse into these things. Silhouettes in the window, hushed voices in the yard, surrounded by the lush cushion of a garden. A forgotten swing set in a backyard carpeted by dead leaves. I take pictures of them, half-/newly formed, matured or past their hey day and wonder what they’ll be like in 20 years, or what they were like when they were “young.” I’ll never find out.
And I keep walking, to the ebb and flow.