How many times have we heard that? Or read it? It’s a lovely saying isn’t it, comforting even. For the longest time though, every time I mention home, I always mean, my home-country, where I’m from. When I say “I’m going home” or “I want to go home”, it usually means back to the Phil, when in truth, I haven’t lived there since 2007.
Ever since we’ve had T, my husband and I planned that once she finishes primary school, we’d head back to live there. If my husband had his way, he’d stick to the plan, or even make it happen tomorrow if he could.
It just doesn’t work that way, does it? We’re thinking of his parents, they are getting older and we wouldn’t want to leave them. And then because of current events, we are having to re-think our plans.
A few nights ago, feeling disheartened with the way things are also turning out in England and work-wise, he turned to me and said “Fancy living in some other country in Europe, say France?” I replied, “Can’t. We don’t speak French. I don’t think we can survive with the little French words we know”.
The truth is, ever since a mad man has been elected to the highest office in my country, the desire to go home is slowly being dampened. That little flame is diminishing bit by bit as I read the latest news online, although my husband thinks he isn’t a mad man and calls him a “fraud”, a jokester. Sadly, I think he is right. And because of this clown, I don’t think of my birth-country as home anymore.
Why would I want to live in a place where I won’t feel safe, where I won’t feel my husband and daughter will be safe? And to quote my favourite actress, Meryl Streep who has been in the limelight lately because of her speech in the recent Golden Globe awards:
And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modelled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.
Sadly, this is the world we live in right now. I don’t think there is a place safer in this world where we can move to, to ensure the safety of our daughter, digging the deepest hole in the ground won’t do to hide from the bullies in the world.
My home is my family. At the moment, it is this cold detached 400-year-old house by the coast where I’m finding out its walls get mouldy in the winter and the fires won’t work all the time. Indeed, home is where the heart is. In my home, no bullies are allowed. And I also like what TS Elliot wrote …
Home is where one starts from.
Indeed it is.
Where is home to you?