To most people, home is important. To me, it’s essential. Home is as necessary to a Cancerian as food or water; necessary for any kind of survival. The times in my life I have felt without a home, even though I have always, technically, had one, have been the times I have become ill or run down.
I have dreams of home. Sometimes I dream of future homes, sometimes of other people’s. When I meet a person, I imagine what their home must be like. I feel it is a great privilege to be invited into someone’s home, to see a part of them that is private, unedited, personal. To see the mess, the clutter, the lives that happen in these spaces, is nothing short of a wonder to me.
Our last home was beautiful. We had weaved ourselves into it. By the time we left, most of the rooms had changed colour, paintings and prints hung on the wall and the garden looked like a Morrocan dream. I loved it. It had just enough space for the thee of us.
But, at the same time, I was also through with it. At some point I felt we had taken from and given to what we could from this house. Perhaps my idea of home had changed too radically since Ava was born, or perhaps my new ideas of home were too big to fit inside the walls of that house.
I saw something different for us. Calmer colours, fireplaces, a sewing area, and less. Less things, more beauty. I saw a garden with space to grow things. I saw more distance to the city. I saw sheep skins and art cupboards, vintage tea sets and stacks of wooden toys, a hammock and a dressing up chest.
I am always so inspired to be inside the home of a friend, to see the extraordinary ordinariness of their every day things. To see the way they make a space work for them, and their family.
So it is these days, on the cusp of choosing a new home, that I find myself compiling lists in my head of what we need and want in a house.
I am not quite sure where our next home will be but I know it will sit at the centre of our lives, as the place we exist as family. As the place we spend time with our friends, and the place that most of our homeschooling takes place. The place we can express ourselves freely and creatively. I hope too that it is in sync with our idea of homesteading and how that could work for us in the future.
Whatever it turns out to be, I hear a familiar mantra lining these Spring days.
‘there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home’