Ever since I started living on my own, I have learned many things about life. Most recently, I found myself contemplating the concept of home. Now that I was on my own, where was my home? What defines a home? Is it possible to have more than one?
The answers to these questions are different for everybody, as everyone comes from a different walk of life. However, as I have thought about what these questions mean for my own life, I have come to discover that there are basic elements that most people can draw from.
Many of us have gone through the experience of moving out and beginning a new chapter of our lives, whether that be for work, college, or other avenues. As such, the question of home gains a new relevance. Is your new house your home? Your college campus? Well, that all depends on what truly makes a home.
There is a popular saying,“home is where the heart is,” which emphasizes the fact that a home and a house are not equal. In other words, there is more to the creation of home than simply material goods. A home encompasses community, and more often than not the two are closely connected. Without connection, you lose the heart that creates a home.
As I reflected on this concept, I realized that I have many places to call my home. Of course, my home is where I was born and raised. For me, this includes the beautiful states of Colorado and Vermont. The quote by T.S Eliot “Home is where one starts from” rings true in this sense. I found strong community in both of these places, and as such my heart feels connected to both.
I then moved into my dorm in college, and was not sure what to expect. Would I always feel as though I was going “home” for vacations and returning back to “school”? After being in college for two months, I have realized that this is not the case. My dorm has become a home, and I have made friends who have become my family. We made a “home away from home,” and my heart now lives there, too.
I have also come to realize that a home does not have to be a place. The people that you surround yourself with can make anywhere feel like home. In 2011 I went on a wilderness camp trip that traversed around the mountains of Colorado. While on this trip, I formed a strong community and found myself looking forward to returning “home” to our tents after a long day of backpacking. It was the relationships that were formed on this trip that made even the backcountry trails feel like home.
As I reflected on my life, I realized that it is more than possible (perhaps even common) to have multiple homes. Every time we become part of a community, part of our heart stays there. We give our heart to many places, people, and adventures, and will thus always have a place to call home.
“Where we love is home–home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts” – Oliver W. Holmes, Sr.
©2015 Alyssa DeBella and The Wise Willow. All rights reserved.