Our First Year Home

Monday, 1 February 2010

A year ago, this past weekend, we opened the door on our new house for the very first time. Here is what it looked like (above). I can hardly remember that day, just as I can hardly remember four years in Beijing and the heart-rending pain when we left to come 'home'.

But where is Home? Are we home now? It's taken a long while to feel we are. For the first six months of our repatriation, I felt almost anti-where-we-now-live. I'd drive into our street and think, each time, 'we don't belong here'.

The second lot of six months has shifted things somewhat. I now feel we belong but I don't yet feel 'settled' - whatever settled means. I think my work and the kids anchor me but for the most part, I'm still eyeing off our passports like a hungry dog and a vacant kitchen with a roast chicken perched naked and somewhere savagable.

I wonder when we'll feel truly settled. Like that elusive True North, where is True Home for our family? It could be anywhere, really. So long as we can pause and connect with each other in the whitewash of our busy lives. So long as we can nestle securely in a treasured sanctuary where we can unpeel our layers and feel totally contented to have each other around... that is Home.

Home is not a building, windows and echoing floorboards. Home is the people, and the things we collect and treasure, woven into special times and precious memories - creating a big, elaborate tapestry of what Home is meant to be.

Home is transient, changing, shifting, growing, accommodating, welcoming. Yes, it’s where the heart is, but it’s also where we stand still. Even for a short while.

Where is Home for you?


Market Girl said...

Really just where ever my family is. I have felt the "unsettled" feeling, it always passes.
We are glad you are here and am always happy to help you settle more. Like with a coffee this week??

Megan said...

This is beautiful. And so true.

Dani said...

Great post Tan and very timely for me. I can't say home is where my heart is as my heart is like a jigsaw puzzle. There are little pieces of it all over the place. Maybe home is a feeling and not a place? You take it with you wherever you go.

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