Home – A Paradox?
The definition for homeland is easy: ‘ A persons or a peoples native land.’ But home is more than just a definition for a geographic area. In an era of globalisation the definition for home becomes more and more blurred, as immigrants, asylum seekers, or work related moves demand from people to give up exactly that.
Once you have left home, you will never be completely at home again. Part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of knowing and loving people in more than one place. Rather than looking for setting up home wherever you decide to go you could look at where you settle. A settlement is a place that you decide to settle in. To settle is to be at peace with your life and your environment despite the fact that it may not be home. Are you settled?
If you look to your own history – you have the home you grew up in. Then you spent time living on your own, away from home. You set up home with a partner. Which one now is home? Is it the family home? The student home? Or the home you make. Home becomes a paradox. We look for something which is elusive. On the other hand, where we settle is our home for the moment, in all its aspects. It is neither historical, nor is it in the future. It is in the present. Once we have a sense of being settled then with it also comes inner peace. A peace that looks at past homes not with longing but with loving, joyful memories.
Eternal longing for home can be destructive. But being settled lifts us up as it allows us to embrace all that is around us. To enjoy new friends, new cultures and new environments without the need or reason to forget the past. Embrace it. Always.
‘I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.’ (Maya Angelou, Author, 1928 – 2014)