Here is another post on *Home*, this time written by my lovely friend Kate. I think she touches on something which many of us experience in modern times – that of being uprooted, of many transitions, of being away from the places we grew up in. Read on for a relatable, honest piece and a sweet and simple conclusion 🙂
Having thought long and hard about what home means to me, I still don’t know. It’s impossible to put my finger on exactly.
The place I call home is Devon, having spent the first 18 years of my life there with my family, climbing trees, running through fields, swimming in the ocean. Devon is home. When I left to go to uni I didn’t feel at all at home in Reading; it was always Devon. I remember the feeling of driving home for the holidays, and the sense of excitment as I passed the Devon sign and saw the beautiful landscape. In Devon I felt alive.
But things changed when my parents separated. To me, home had always been synonymous with family and so then I was lost. Devon no longer held the magic.
So I decided, upon completion of university, to go as far as I could…..New Zealand. But it never felt like home. I spent a year wrestling with everything, almost flying ‘home’ a number of times but never having the courage to do so. New Zealand never felt like home; it was my neverland. I didn’t have to settle or think about life or the hurt of home, I could just party and forget.
But I couldn’t forget, as much as I tried. I yearned to be back amongst family and friends and the places I knew, but I was terrified. Eventually, after nearly a year, I returned to the UK and to Devon.
I was even more lost than before and experienced the lowest time of my life. It was so good to see friends and family again, but I was incredibly ill and so unhappy. I was in the place I loved most but felt so sad. I then longed to back to NZ, a country that took my breath away, but the grass does always looks greener.
But then mum bought me a puppy. A crazy, ridiculous little creature, the runt of the litter. He was mine to train and look after, a welcome distraction. Slowly, slowly I began to feel better. Running with him on the beach, walking him in the fields, I began to fall in love with Devon all over again. I eventually came to accept and be at peace with the whole situation.
Since then I have lived in a number of different places, the most latest of which is our lovely cottage in the Surrey hills. It’s not Devon, I still long for the ocean, but it most definitely is home. I’m building a home there: a family with my boyfriend and the cat, and despite knowing few people in the area, and having moved to a job I hate, I am happy; I am home.
So, what does home mean to me? A number of things. Home is Devon. Home is family. Home is happiness. And, at the risk of ruining this entire thought with a hugely overused cliché, home really is where the heart is.
Kate’s Home Picture