H is for Home

April 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Experiences, Family, Society, Travel, Ways of Living | 2 Comments
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A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014]



The word ‘home’ evokes strong feelings in people, more than most words. There are many sayings about it – “Home is where the heart is” and “There’s no place like home”, among others.

Many poems and songs are written about home, expressing a love of and a longing for home, or a desire to leave it.

BillCosby Children come back home

However, when we look at a dictionary for a definition, we get one that in no way reflects those feelings.

The UK Oxford Dictionary: the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

Free dictionary has nine definitions of the word, and most of them also relate to a place or structure wherein one dwells. But one of those meanings does actually capture what really lies behind the word for most people:

Home is: a. An environment offering security and happiness; b. A valued place regarded as a refuge or place of origin.

Elizabeth-Gaskell-home quote

Of course, home is not always a refuge or a place of safety and security, but when it is written of in song and poem, that is what it means.

Home is where one starts from, T. S. Eliot.

Where thou art, that is home, a poem by Emily Dickinson.

Linda&Pauline T abt 1955

So, what happens if a person travels a lot and does not ‘settle down’ in one place? Does that person have no home; or if they live in many different houses in different places?

My brother has travelled and lived in a small camper van (mobile home) for many years. Does he have a home? He certainly does – his home is his van.

And my own situation: ever since I first married at the age of twenty, I have lived in more houses in more places than I can remember. The longest in one place, until where I now live, was six years. Have all of those places been a home to me?


Yes, they have; all of them. As Maya Angelou says,  I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.

It is not the building or place that makes a home as far as I am concerned. Some of the homes in which I lived weren’t the best, others have been lovely.

The condition of the house, flat, caravan, etc, made no difference to me. It was and still is the people with whom I share that place with.

homeis where heart is

Until I was twenty, it was my parents and siblings, even when we lived in a caravan. Then it was my husband and our children, until we separated. After that, it was other people with whom I lived and whom I felt close to.

Any old place I can hang my hat is home sweet home to me, the title of a song by William Jerome.



What does home mean to you?


© Linda Visman 09.04.2014




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