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Image for post
Painting by Hiromi Nishizaka

“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

*

Once we step outside of the illusion of our own
separate self, a radically different picture emerges. Our
true nature exists in a dimension of oneness. Unlike the
ego, which always looks out for its own self-interest, the
Self reflects a vision of unity, in which each individual
part is nourished according to its real need. A glimpse of
the Self gives us a sense of an interconnected oneness in
which nothing is separate: everything is an expression of
a oneness that is dynamically alive. Every person, every
stone, is this oneness; everything is connected and interdependent.
Our individual Self is the Universal Self
and it is all a living organism of light and love.”
-Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
From: Including the Earth in Our Prayer

I was surprised in Europe to find people so connected to a certain place. I realized how normal it was as an American to move frequently and not be attached to any particular locale. I feel the same detachment now that we’ve left the east of France. It took a couple of decades to put our roots down there. In the five years since we left there we’ve become different people. Fitting back into that life would be impossible now, even if we had the wherewithal to do it.

It seems that you need the home you need depending on who you are at the time. Our transition from people who fit beautifully into an ancient stone house in France to a couple that fits right into a cozy two-bedroom Mexican house. We went from owning too much stuff to wondering why we needed it. Being attached to stuff is different from being close to another human. Of course, we had kids in tow when we moved to France. They needed a physical place they could be safe and grown. That feeling of home has migrated to family relationships for them too.

Your body/mind mutates to some extent to fit your environment. You naturally like some environments and don’t like others. Some places have just the kind of energy you need. I like the sentiment that home is really just who you love, but I don’t think it’s completely true. I think it’s important to find an environment where you thrive. Some places can shut you down. Every place has its own energy so it’s probably a good idea to pay attention to how you feel where you are at any given time.

As a wandering American, I must have some gypsy genes or I wouldn’t have been born on this continent instead of the old country. But I’d like to see Americans fall in love with the land they were born on. Being so mobile means you don’t develop a concern about the piece of earth you’re standing on at the moment. Taking the time to learn about and care for our earthly home is taken seriously by ancient cultures, but our view is that nature is there to be used. I wonder how long immigrants to this continent will take to start taking care of it like the home it is.

It’s true that home is where the heart is. We live in such a fast moving culture that our hometown changes before our astonished eyes. That’s what happened to the Austin I grew up in. It;s gone and with it whatever feelings of home I might have associated with it.

We do need a feeling of home. Maybe it really is located in hearts and not in a street address.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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