I just came home from being away four months. Things seemed different when I arrived and not because I have been gone for so long. Yes, my things were here and I recognized everything around me. The garden needed to be tended to and the house was not as clean as when I left it but all of that did not seem that important. What was different was I realized that, although my belongings were important to me, they didn’t have the same value as before.
My life has involved a lot of travel and so I have found myself in a variety of hotel rooms and apartments in the many years I have been on the road. Sometimes I longed for my home because it is where my family was and where I identified with myself. In short, I lost myself because I felt a need to expend all of my energy on everyone and everything else. I do not regret one moment how I have spent my life but now home is taking on a new definition.
Because of my travels I have learned to set up house as best I can to make me feel grounded in the upheaval of my life. I pack things that mean something to me and try to have fresh flowers whether it be an apartment with a kitchen I can use to make it feel less isolated or a hotel room that usually has only one room, a refrigerator and a microwave. I have become very creative at setting up house regardless of what the four walls around contain. I need a window with light. I try to get some kind of view with trees even if that also includes a parking lot.
I thought I would feel a tremendous sense of relief when I walked through the door of my home the other night but it seemed foreign to me as though I had just found a long lost high school friend and I was going have to get reacquainted. Things seemed familiar but it didn’t seem to have the same pizzazz. Don’t get me wrong. My house is beautiful and I am very lucky to be able to live in such tranquil surroundings in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.
What I’m trying to say is that home really is where you are no matter the location. It seems to me home is inside of me and the comfort I long for has to come first from my thoughts and not my belongings. Each place has to feel that a part of me is living there and taking care of me is what’s important.
Recently my son took me to a jazz festival at the Hollywood Bowl for Mother’s Day. We both love jazz and sat among a crowd of people who loved jazz as much as we did. They were dancing and laughing and enjoying each other and whoever else that wanted to join in. I felt at home. I was with someone I love dearly and among people who also loved dearly. Home Sweet Home.