If ever I go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.
– L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
My perspective on home is colored by a crazy childhood in North Texas. I lived behind a strip mall anchored by an innocent-looking white brick Dairy Queen with a red plastic roof where all the kids in town hung out in their cars. I remember convincing myself that drinking cherry sloe gin and root beer was a good thing, because it helped me deal with the chaotic atmosphere in the tiny house where I lived a few blocks away.
Behind the closed doors and heavily covered windows of my family’s orange brick tract house, there was a constant stream of wacky relatives moving in and out, people yelling, doors slamming, pills flying, and dirty white cigarette smoke choking the air.
Gifts from Adversity
But through my childhood, I learned there can be gifts in adversity. I can’t help but think those chaotic years helped prepare me for the even crazier times we live in today. I realize more than ever the importance of home and living in beauty, harmony and peace to nurture my somewhat fragile well-being. That, and not watching the news.
But recent events like the wildfires on the West Coast and the hurricanes on the East Coast have demonstrated that my home by the San Francisco Bay can go up in smoke or disappear underwater in an instant. It occurred to me that I have been taking my home for granted, and I decided some self-reflection was in order. So I asked myself – what does home really mean?
What Home Means to Me
It is the major stage upon which I live my life. It is where interactions with family, friends and animals take place daily. It holds the rooms where I write this blog and run my business. Despite the fact that our home is almost a hundred years old and has no functioning heater or air-conditioning, a small corner fireplace keeps us warm in the winter, and thick stucco walls protect us from the summer heat.
Home provides a structure and shelter, but to me the most important things in our home are the people and animals that grace our rooms. Family, friends and pets make up the very core of our lives and make life worth living. I have included a few treasured photos of the extraordinary souls, past and present, that have colored and brightened our lives.
What Does Home Mean to You?
As part of giving thanks for the blessings in our lives this season – even as we in California mourn our losses or the losses of others – let’s take some time to ponder the lesson Dorothy learned on her journey to Oz. What does your home mean to you? What extraordinary beings grace your rooms? In what way does your home provide a stage for your life to unfold? How do the rooms in your house serve you and evoke different feelings and memories? Who will come to your home for the holidays to make new memories, and how will you show your love and appreciation for them? It’s never about perfection, it’s always about coming from your heart.
In the love of home,