I am sure that I have written on the idea of home, what home means, what constitutes a home, etc., but again I am preoccupied with the subject. I suppose it has something to do with the holidays, visiting family, being in the house that I grew up in.  I am also again about to move, which might be more the reason.  I have spent much time over the last 5 or so years packing my belongings and moving them to another place and yet I find myself again beginning to go through the things that I own in preparation for transition.

Home – is it something that is specific to a place? At this point in my life, I definitely connect it to houses, to being in a space that has more than one room, to kitchens, and hallways, and stairs. The house I grew up in was three stories, with a basement.  The first 18 years of my life was spent climbing three flights of stairs regularly, does this have something to do with my feelings about being home in a place with stairs now? I will write another day about how when I first moved to Baltimore it immediately felt like home. It took me some time to realize that many things about the city reminded me of my childhood, felt like home in a nostalgic way, but also in a way that was living and breathing. Home as it existed for me in childhood, the place I came back to, almost without question, because it was home and it was there/here that I was comfortable, felt loved, and was cared for.

Love and care are definitely necessary for a home. Whether it is the people in the home that love and care for each other or the way that one interacts with the building and objects within the house’s walls. I like the Animal Collective song Taste. The lyrics ask, “Am I really all the things that are outside of me? Would I complete myself without the things I like around?” Home is a place where the walls, furniture, and objects should be an extension of the people that occupy them and will reflect how the people feel toward them and each other. It is home when the people and the objects are cared for, loved, and have their place.

This idea, that all of our things, our houses, books, and kitchen appliances are a part of us, are part of the life we live, leads me to the next necessity for me to feel at home.  This is the potential to be creative. A home will grow and change with its inhabitants, it will allow for new things and new people. Maybe that is why home is often tied to family, although I know that family does not necessarily constitute feeling at home, but it is the possibility of what ideally family could be that comes close to home. In any case, it is those that support us and challenge us to grow and create that are necessary to finding home.