“I feel at home here.”
When someone says this, most people instantly understand what they mean.
They feel welcome, safe, accepted, free to be themselves without judgment or criticism. They are surrounded by people who love them, things that matter.
Home is a special place, a place like no other.
To see this, try replacing “home” with other places where we spend our time, places we’re told are filled with a sense of family and warmth and goodness:
“I feel so at office here.”
“Relax. Make yourself at hospital.”
“My schoolroom is your schoolroom.”
“Work is where my heart is.”
It doesn’t really work, does it?
Now realistically, not all homes are safe, good places: there are people who do not feel treasured and protected at home, relaxed and assured, but rather than tear down the concept of home and substitute it with . . . work, school, church, hospital rooms . . . it is better to acknowledge that a home where one does not want to be is an aberration.
We want to bring the concept of home into places where it does not exist, not replace home with impersonal arenas that pretend to possess the attributes of home when they do not.
The artwork, Autumn Memories, invites us to a place of warmth and welcome, goodness and kindness, acceptance and love. The traveler walks down the driveway, drawn toward the rural farmhouse, lights glowing from the windows. Inside, a warm meal awaits, eager conversation between people who want to know about one another’s day, quiet moments when there is no need to speak.
These are gifts we can all give one another, regardless of whether we are in our home, or at the office, in the grocery store, by the hospital bed. While the element of privacy is generally missing in public areas, the need for acceptance and kindness, patience and understanding, safety and freedom, is very real, very necessary, and very within our abilities to give.
Home is a treasure worth desiring, valuing, and protecting, a treasure so priceless that no one can buy it, but everyone deserves it.
Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. Posts complementing this one are