At first glance the word ‘Home’ conjures an image of comfort and familiarity; a place in which we are at home is one in which it is OK to put your feet on the sofa or open the fridge to study its contents at any time.
When I saw the word as a prompt for the weekly photo challenge I thought there must be lots of phrases and epigrams that I could quote; but it turned out, that thinking and a tiny bit of research produced only a few:
‘Where thou art, that is home’, by Emily Dickinson
Home is where the heart is.
‘Eaten out of house and home’ (Shakespeare, I think)
‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’
And now getting desperate……
‘Home, home on the range where the deer and the antelope play’
Then there is ‘Home’ a novel by Marilynne Robinson. There are many I know who love this book, but for me it was a claustrophobic description of how family and a particular house can smother life and and sap joy and optimism; a subversion of the idea of the comfort of home.
Home is a place where you have some responsibility to look after it, to keep it clean and secure…. a hotel may not be as comforting but at least you never have to dust.
This led me to the euphemism of we use when we say someone is ‘in a home’ to cover the fact that Granny has been sent to an institution to be cared for.
My random searching on Google led me to the website for UK Home Office which proudly states on its banner: ‘The Home Office is the lead government department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime, counter-terrorism and police’. Only comfortable for me if I stay on the right side of them, then.
And finally I arrived at ‘Home Page’; why it took me so long, when every time I look at my computer screen there is that little house shaped icon in the top left hand corner, I can’t explain.
For the last couple of days every time I have arrived at my Home page I have been confronted by increasingly awful images of the destruction of Japan after the earthquake and tsunami. I simply cannot imagine what it is like to endure such a degree of ruin; or where and how one would even begin to recover from such devastation.
I am grateful that I live in a stable country with a mild climate.
My photo is the view from the most comfortable spot chez moi, and, at least today, I profoundly appreciate how lucky I am to have it.