People say that “Home is where the heart is,” but I want to restate it to: “Home is where the fart is.” It’s a bit crude, but truthful. I got there after careful consideration and a greeting card-style poem.
Home is a place: a physical structure that houses our belongings and lives. We look for a solid foundation to build upon, strong walls to hug in our worlds, and a consistent, patient roof to keep out the elements. However, houses with leaky roofs can still be homes, and super luxurious dream houses may never qualify as a home. Why? Perhaps because the right people or emotions are missing.
Home is people: our loved ones. Only twice in my life, looking into a man’s eyes, I’ve felt a powerful surge of emotion, and the only words I could put on it was that I felt like I was home, now that they were in my life. I felt similarly looking at my babies. Nowadays the house doesn’t seem like a home until their laughter fills it.
Home is where the heart is, however, even when we take our loved ones (our “hearts”) on vacation with us, where we visit does not become our “home.” We have fun, and new experiences, but after a while, we get homesick. Home is more than the people and place that comfort us.
Home is also memories and history. It is a smell, a feeling of warmth, home-cooked meals, holiday traditions, a clock that ticks too loudly, a stuffed animal that we hugged tight for a decade, and the creak in the floor on the third stair. When we get homesick , it is for more than a place and the people and possessions that are in it; we miss the way home made us feel.
Home is a feeling: where we are comfortable in our own skin, where we belong. Home is a place and the people that/who we know and love for all their good and the bad and where we are equally accepted for our perfect imperfections. Home isn’t unknown. It is safety and security. Home is where there is no judgement. Home will always be there for us.
All this talk of home, started for me after reading about a contest being held by Habitat for Humanity Canada. For every 50-300 word entry that they receive from students in grades four to six explaining their meaning of “home,” $5 is being donated by Genworth towards a Habitat house. I visited the www.meaningofhome.ca website and saw the words: shelter, comfort, andfamily. These words illuminate much of what I was trying to convey, but it’s become clear to me that they cannot be used in isolation, otherwise it is truly not a “home.”
I found myself trying to capture “home” in prose, when some rhyming couplets snuck in, perhaps coaxed out by the knowledge that contest entries can be poetry, prose, or videos.
Home is where the heart is?
Home is a warm bowl of oatmeal and a goodnight kiss;
It’s everything we want, and everything we’d miss.
Home is ponytails, t-shirts, and dancing in our underwear;
Not having to shave, and not having a care.
Home is where we run to after a bad day;
Looking for snuggles, to know we’re okay.
Home is not needing makeup; not needing a mask.
It’s needing some help and not having to ask.
Home is where we can make big mistakes and big amends;
And encircle ourselves, with family and friends.
Home is a sigh of relief, it’s unzipping our pants;
It’s where we always get a second chance.
Unconditional love lives here, there from the start.
We can safely be us, and not be afraid to fart.
Home is where the fart is.
After much pondering, I see that home is gestalt; something greater than the sum of its parts. Home is a physical place, the people we love, memories of the past, and most importantly, home is endless possibilities for the future.
Home is not simply a place and belongings; home is the place where we belong.