Many thoughts throughout history have been expressed about home. Pliny the Elder suggested that “Home is where the heart is,” while Frank Baum in the Wizard of Oz opined, “There’s no place like home.” Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You can’t go home again,” while Robert Frost suggests that, “Home is the place wheare, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Warsan Shire believes, “At the end of the day, it isn’t where I came from. Maybe home is somewhere I’m going and never have been before,” while Robin Hobb suggests, “Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there anymore.” Sarah Dressen has a similar thought, that, “Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.” Jon Kabat-Zinn has a similar thought, which became the title of his famous book, Wherever You Go There You Are, suggesting you cannot get away from yourself. Pascal Mercier has a different thought, that, “We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” As we consider all these thoughts, what does home mean to you? I was just wondering………………..
I have recently returned to my Cape Cod home permanently, and as I settle in, I have been inclined to wonder what has caused me to choose this now as my one and only home. Now, when I am no longer bound by employment considerations or family obligations. I have just left a very beautiful sub-tropical coastal climate to endure a New England winter. What has called me back?
I have been fortunate to experience homes in many countries. I have shared meals in homes in Thailand, Germany, New Zealand, China, Morocco, Fiji, and Egypt. In my travels I have been inside homes in Cambodia, the earthen huts of the Hill Tribes in Thailand, the stilted huts hugging the shore of the Amazon in Boca de Valeria, Brazil, and huts on the isolated island of The Republic of Kirabati. I have visited over 60 countries and I have spent time in all the continents except Antartica. While I love the “laissez faire” of France, the colorful emotion of Italy, the primitive allure of the South Pacific, the pristine white beauty of the Greek Islands, and the exotic richness of Southeast Asia, I still choose to live in America. In America I have visited all but 7 states and I have resided in Vermont, Ohio, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and New York. So, what is home, why do I choose here, and how does here connect to my heart and soul? What is it about “place” that calls any of us? And is “place” where home is, or is it something else?
We just can’t escape being influenced by the culture in which we grew up. So while I might be attracted to some of these other lands and cultures, they are still not where my ultimate comfort zone lies. I love to visit, but I don’t choose to stay. As I sway with my husband on the wooden swing in my yard on Cape Cod, I am surrounded by lush vegetation and flowering plants. Many ponds are within minutes of my home. I love the quaint beauty and the unique New England style shuttered and shingled homes. The droning engine of a biplane above tells me it is a beautiful day. Each town and village on the Cape offers a peek into a different and unique experience. Galleries and boutiques are in abundance. Boston with all of its culture is a short drive. The ocean is everywhere! Feeling the ocean breeze brush playfully through my hair while the sun warms my soul is a perfect day for me! There are so many secret coves and paths and beaches to discover. Cape Cod is clam chowder, cranberry muffins, and lobster. It is art and street festivals and music at the Melody Tent. It is Indie films at Cape Cinema and bountiful offerings at summer playhouses. It is visits to Ptown with its diverse culture and joyful street festivities. It is day trips on the ferry to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard or just watching the ferries coming and going, loading and unloading, from Hyannis Harbor. It is bike rides on the trails. It is hotdogs and smores with family by a fire on the dunes at Sandy Neck at night, watching the sun set over the shimmering sea. It is waiting in line while salivating over the zillions of flavors at Four Seas Ice Cream. It is leisurely Sunday mornings sipping a cup of hot tea while perusing the Boston Globe. It is the change of seasons, and the cozy pubs on a cold winter day. It is the winter holiday “Street Strolls” filled with festive carolers, hot chocolate, and Christmas treats! It is the longing for spring, when it never seems to come, that makes its eventual arrival even that much more splendid! And it is NEVER tiring of the lush, serpentine beauty of route 6A!
It is all part of a place that I fell in love with many years ago. My heart and soul remained connected even while I experienced other adventures around the world. But my heart has called me back. It is the place that most connects with who I am, the place that supports the very most of my being. It is informal, carefree, bohemian, and inclusive. The girl who grew up in Ohio and couldn’t wait to leave, after traveling the world, found that sense of place on Cape Cod. I feel safe and loved and deeply connected with all that surrounds me. It is a sense of belonging. It is home. What and where is home for you? I was just wondering……………………..