When I received my first package of bees I was intent on giving them a good home, replete with ample room and plentiful food. I worked hard several week prior to their arrival to set up the hive “just right”, and plant flowers that would bloom at different times during the summer. Of course, the bees were not aware of my preparation work nor were they aware that the newly situated place they had found themselves in was home. But they had one, and their home made me happy.
The idea of home is not as simple as a place, however. Rather, home is (perhaps) a feeling of comfort, a point when you can let your guard down, and “stay awhile” as it were. Fast food is out of place, advertisement is unwelcome and the smell of cooking is prevalent; home is welcoming and not too fancy. Home is intimate and it affords a feeling of intimacy when we are there. Home is quiet and warmth, love and friendship. Home is comforting.
Home is the past: the memories that we cherish and the love of our parents when we were small. Home is the smell of cooking, welcoming intimacy, quiet, warmth, love and friendship and it can be found anywhere. Most creatures want a home, but most creatures (such as bees) do not belong to a specific place or even time; having a home is similar: it is not specifically defined.
Being raised by loving parents, making friends, finding someone that you love and that loves you back, having experiences, adventures, learning, losing, loving, laughing. All of these things and so much more make up our homes. A home is often a process of building memories. In fact, memories may be the only building blocks of a home, much more than the brick and mortar, the wood and nails that we often find solace in.
A home cannot be bought and sold but it is not free. We must create our homes and live in them as best we can. We must accept the homes we have built and know that we can build a new one if need be. Having a home is remembering why we are who we are, and planning who we want to be. Home is comfort in the knowledge that we are self-sufficient, that we made choices and took responsibility for them. Home is that quality of happiness that is rare and often fleeting; it is that feeling that we do not belong, but not because we are outcasts, but only because that is the nature of the human house.
Everyone and everything needs a home. It is the ultimate goal. We all belong to the human household, but not all of us have built a home. Somehow, my bees have reminded me of this, and the chickens that I will soon get; the vegetable garden and the fruit trees. The memories of long past times, and the achievements and failures that linger, and the wishful dreams of times to come; this is in essence what makes a house a home. I wish you luck in building your own.