I often say that my heart dwells in two countries. I have lived and feel very much at home in both Australia and Nepal. And in different places in both of those countries.
I have been thinking a lot about home this week. On my way back to Nepal this time, I am going to be celebrating with some of my family the fact that my parents have lived in their home, my childhood home, for 50 years.
It’s an interesting juxtaposition of events – I leave a new home, via my childhood home, to another country which I also think of as home.
50 years in one house may suggest that my parents live a sedentary existence. Far from it!!! From this very stable and nurturing base, my mum and dad travelled widely and encouraged us to do the same. Since leaving home, I have lived in at least 7 homes and I know that many of my contemporaries have lived in many more. I don’t think in my generation that there will be many of us who are in one home for 50 years.
I like Oliver Wendell Holmes’ definition of home: Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. And the science fiction writer, Lois McMaster Bujold says in one of her novels My home is not a place, it is people.
When we first moved to Nepal to live, my parents gave me a book called Belonging by Isabel Huggan and her thoughts on home really clicked for me: Home is not some familiar place you can always return to: it is the rightness you feel wherever you are, when you know that you are loved.
Having said ALL that, having a place that has been a home for 50 years – that contains so many memories of conversations, of comings and goings, laughter and sorrow – is special. Worth celebrating. A celebration of a house that has become a home. Because of the people. And because of the love they have for me.
Thich Nhat Hanh says Our true home is in the present moment…The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment.
And so gentle reader, I will perhaps be less regular in my posts until December but trust that you will check in now and then to find out about the creative journey as it continues in Nepal, quite literally…after the monsoon!