Updated: Apr 20, 2022
Gracie and Lily are at a sleepover as I write this, I’m in the kitchen with just Edie and she is happily eating a meal for one. To focus my attention on just one kiddo is something rare and reminds me of the pact I’ve made to myself over and over to do this more often, time with just one child, and yet here it is, likely months since I’ve done it. Making a mental note to ask for more support to be sure to do this with the older ones too, I set to tidying up and sitting at the table. The sun is shining into the room as now Steve puts Edie to bed and it’s nearly eerily quiet. Without my vivacious older girls, the house feels spacious but in a looming sort of way. I want to sit out but the sun is mercilessly hot and being in the cool indoors is too good to give up. In gratitude I sit in the easiness of my home and contemplate what this means. Home.
I’m a future dweller, it has to be my strongest vice. I say vice because constantly looking to what the future may bring and this has got to be as detrimental to your current state of being as anything else could be. I’m ever-chasing this feeling of home and for the longest time have been focussed on the physical aspect — where, what it will look like, the size, the rooms, etc. Only recently am I reconsidering this, that home will be anything tangible.
What if home is only ever a feeling?
Moving away from defining home as a physical place gives me so much space to create home based on my feelings alone. I can notice when I feel at home. + in the sound of my girls chattering away, in play, in argument, at bedtime under their covers + in the comfort of my bed + while watching the breeze ruffle the leaves of the many trees around my house + in loving exchanges with Steve + in creating a meal for my family + in curling up on the couch with a book or to watch a movie + when listening to a storm while cocooned safely with those I love + in feeling the peace and satisfaction I get from how the light catches one our paper stars on the window
Nature. Peace. Quiet. Space. Family. These are all the things I need to make a house my home. And I can create these anywhere I go.
My favourite series of books is Little House on the Prairie and I’ve been reading them with Gracie and Lily. What I love about those books is the sheer simplicity of life, the dependability, the certainty even when things are fraught with challenge. The togetherness, the willingness of spirit and that no matter how far they go, wherever they set up their next home it is made up of a collection of items that they could easily cart from one state to the next. It was so much less about the stuff, the building even, and so much more about what it contained, and the people who made it what it was. A home.
I’ve lived in a dozen or so places in the 20 years since I moved away from my family home and I know with certainty that I can create a beautiful space no matter where I end up, nesting is my jam. I do want a large verandah with sweeping views of the water, fields and forest, ceiling fans whirring lazily on a hot summers day. I want massive counters in my kitchen where I can roll out pastry or cook a dinner for a dozen people on a whim. I want a bedroom that has walls far enough from the corners of my bed that I can throw the duvet out over in one fell swoop, a huge soaker tub I can lounge in, a cozy den with a big stone fireplace. That’s just the start of the home I want to create someday but I have to remind myself, it’s all in right timing. And even then, with my big house with wide wooden plank floors and a formal dining room, none of that will make it home. I will, we will, our love, our laughter, the small collection of belongings we cart from place to place.