Monday, February 20, 2023

 On Staying Home       


Recently I had a conversation with my hair stylist who, like me, is a homebody. She is a beautiful free spirit who thinks deeply, cares ferociously about many things including the Earth, including others. She is a gardener, an artist, a drummer, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. And she is perfectly content being home alone. She finds it peaceful. So, when a few times her daughter has voiced concern – “Aren’t you bored being at home all the time? Don’t you hate being alone? Are you ever afraid? I worry.” – she has been quick to reply. “No worries,” she has assured her girl. “I’m fine, happy, and perfectly content.”


I relate. I love being home. My husband, my best friend, is here too doing “guy” stuff, taking naps, or cooking some pretty tasty feasts. I have two beautiful German Shepherds to pamper, koi and orchids to tend, a garden to grow, weeds to pull, pesky chores to do, books to read, and writing that calls me to the computer every day. Writing – it’s the gift that keeps me grounded and makes me happy. Creating is fun – and hard – but mostly enjoyable and so rewarding when words appear in print just as I had planned. So, like my friend, the stylist, at home I am fine - happy and content.


Can everyone say that? Probably not. Surely a good many people would go batshit crazy if they stayed home as much as my friend, the stylist does, or as much as I do. The Covid lockdown is evidence in itself. The general population could hardly cope. Now, however, Covid lockdowns seem behind us and folks are out and about as never before. So, have they left home behind? I don’t think so because home, it seems to me, can be anywhere – the mall, an airport, a seat in an airplane, the office, the beach, a boat, a golf course, a retreat, a mountaintop, or even a muddy bank beside a stream. I know people who are at home running alone down a country road or riding a bicycle for miles at a time. In that regard, the old saying is correct: Home is where the heart is.


But what about the homeless? What about them – the ones in tents, on sidewalks, in an alleyway somewhere? Can a rusted out, tireless, beat up trailer be home? I don’t know. . . and yet on some level those places must become home for those whose fortunes have led them there. Is theirs a home they could never have imagined? Is theirs a home that was inevitable, predictable? Those questions are so unfathomable they make my head swim. Yet I speculate. Is it one’s ability to accept, adapt, and cope that makes home become home? Is it?


I wonder. Folks in this country live in castles, in tract houses, in condos, in apartments, in farmhouses, in tenements, in motels, in cars, in tents, and under the stars. Does one domicile deserve the title home more than another? Home is defined as a place where a person finds affection, acceptance, peace. It is where we find contentment. Outside wrapping aside, it is where we want to be. 


With that, enough said.

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