What is home? It is a question that I have asked to myself for a while. According to the dictionary there are several definitions for home: “The abiding place of the affections, especially of the domestic affections; the locality where a thing is usually found, or was first found, or where it is naturally abundant (…); a place of refugee and rest; close, personal, pointed as a home thrust; the place where it belongs (…)”. And there are many more definitions, from different resources. Coincidentally, all of them refer to home as a ‘place’.
What if the meaning of ‘home’ goes beyond a place? What home represents for individuals? The idea of ‘home’ may represent just security and safety for some people. What does create the feeling of ‘home’? Is ‘home’ the place we live, or is ‘home’ another place connected to our history, heritage, friends, family or country? Or is it perhaps a laugh, a hug, the sea, the mountains, being with the people we like or meeting people we´re having fun with?
So, the Dalai Lama defines ‘home’ as “(…)a sacred mythic place, even for non-religious people. We all believe in a special space beyond our own doorsill that simply cannot be violated. This is my place, where I can close the door on chaos and find some kind of cosmos, peace, assurance of purpose. This is mine; here I belong“. After this description of what ‘home’ is, i firmly believe that the meaning of ‘home’ can be as abstract as what infinity and eternity means.
For Alexandre (a colleague from work) ‘home’ means “a place where I can be safe and feel good about anything”. Ana Claudia – a friend – feels torn about the idea of leaving Curitiba, her home, for São Luís her family home. She told me that Curitiba has been her ‘home’ for several years just for the fact that many of her really good friends are there, meaning: memories, laughs, smiles, tears, hugs, discussions, games, parties, movies, tea, etc.
For me ‘home’ isn´t a financial assets anymore, or an emotional attachment to something. For me it means do what makes me feel good and free, like riding Geronimo – my bike – for example. Geronimo gives such sensation of freedom and inner peace, where I feel secure and save; riding ‘him’ makes me forget about my problems. I also feel at home when I am with my friends drinking tea and debating about everything, from major changes in our lives til evil ponis´ ad. When someone smiles at me, or just by feeling how the cold air gently touches my face, I feel ‘home’.
I have a family that I truly love. A beautiful mom who´s the best woman in the entire planet, a father who works hard for us, a mega intelligent brother who is also my best friend, and my lovely dog, Bush. I feel like ‘home’ when I am with them, too. They are part of those moments, memories, rituals and people that make my ‘home’.
While this term (home) is undefinable and abstract, and its physical figure is central in out everyday lives, our perception of what home truly is doesn´t get too much attention. Home is something most of us take for granted. However, if we stop a think a little bit and deeper about it, the most elemental embodiment of life is ‘home’.