What is home?

Anglophile 5

I have thought about being home since we moved from our home in early December. .

It is cliché that home is where the heart is. These days my heart seems spread all over the place. It is in California with CF. It is with my Mother in Philadelphia, and my brother and his family in New Jersey. It is with my friend SW in Asia. I seem to be living in between all these places – untethered to any place but rooted so deeply to these people whom I love.

This time of year brings a chill in the air.  In earlier years I would sit in the great room by the fireplace and write. There was safety and comfort in that space and the words flowed freely and the stories came easily. Not so in the disruption of the last month. I force myself to choose happy and think of our move in the coming weeks. The long winter coming to an end and the gardens beginning to come to life. I begin to feel hopeful.

For the first days of the year I sat on this couch in my Mother’s home in my “soft clothes” – her moniker for clothes that envelope you and keep you warm. Lazy clothes, comfort clothes. I sat there by the fire immoveable for two days. And now she sits there by the fire adopting new rhythms in the silence.

We spoke of home and she shared thoughts of Dominique Browning – an editor – about home and design.

“…A way of trying to tell readers that even though we were showing perfect rooms and perfect gardens, life is not perfect. And things happen, crazy things, bad things, sad things, wonderful things happen in those rooms. And that the point of all this nesting and decorating is life. And living as good a life as we possibly can. And I also wanted to remind people why this mattered. That design is not an airhead subject, that it’s an important subject, and that making a house and a garden is a pretty profound activity.”
Dominique Browning

I agree with her. Life is not perfect. These rooms are the rooms where I first introduced my parents to CF. They are the rooms where Little a. and J. came when they returned to the states as babies. Each Battersea box filled with 1 M&M for J. to find.  I live between those memories of the joy and the sorrow, the laughter and the tears. Each visit , no matter my age, made me feel a child again – a home full of love and safety. That was their home. It is her home.

Soon CF and I will begin to imbue our home with love. It will be the 7th time we have moved.  We will fill the house with laughter and joy. We will toast milestones and enjoy our friends children as they grow.  We will discover new nooks and spaces.  We will light candles.   There will be long walks and new routines.  We will listen for paws on the stairs and cook dinners over bottles of wine.

Then, we will be home.

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