Home is the nicest word there is. –Laura Ingalls Wilder
A friend recently asked on a social media site, “What is home?” I thought a minute, then replied that home is wherever your loved ones are. In retrospect, though, that doesn’t really cover it. I went on vacation this weekend with my family and we stayed in a hotel room. Was that hotel room “home”? Some might consider it to be–Dennis Lehane asserts that “home is a mythological conceit. It is a state of mind. A place of communion and unconditional love. It is where, when you cross its threshold, you finally feel at peace.” I did feel a sense of peace finally stepping into the hotel room and being able to unwind, but still, I would not consider it home.
I’ve been thinking a lot about “home” lately. It’s been a while since I posted because we have been so busy househunting and now we are are immersed in the home purchase process. We bid on a short sale, so it’s been a longer process than usual. I have hunkered down with home decorating and improvement books and magazines and am happily imagining our life in this house, should everything work out. I think it’s this making of memories that truly establishes the concept of “home.” Home is where you’ve made memories, and will make memories, with your loved ones. I think Sarah Dessen described it perfectly:
Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.” –Sarah Dessen
As for moving to a new house, the possibilities are what make it so exciting. Just as I always got a surge of excitement at the start of a new school year–new pencils, new folders, new backpack–a new house asks you to imagine how your life will change when you move into it. What new memories will you make with your children? How will you change as a person? However, as Dessen points out, when you move into a new house, you are both bringing your “home” into it, and continuing to build on it.
I don’t know if “home” is the nicest word there is (I think “love” is a strong contender) but it sure does give me a warm fuzzy. I am grateful for the home I am building with my family, wherever we may be.