For the past eleven years, home has been the place where my three still rope-anchored and wrinkly water babies had their first fill of air, screwed up eyes blindly gazing upon a brand new world, the passage from darkness to light softened by the sounds lovingly (pre)spun by their father.
Home always houses wheels of steel and banks of black discs.
Home is the nerve centre of our free range learning life, where flights of fancy carry the same weight as physics and fractions. The children spring into being, growing into themselves, cartwheeling around the lounge, whilst I grow the library.
Home always houses stacks of books, longing to be be held and heard, falling over themselves on the shelves.
Home is a Groundhog Day for this often unenlightened mother – grinding and grumbling through the drudge of domesticity – missing the chance to make it a meditation: “fold laundry, wash dishes, chop vegetables, sweep floor, fold laundry, wash dishes, chop vegetables, sweep floor” … so the mantra goes …
Home is the place where I am forgiven for getting swept up in a thought full mind, for losing sight of the light, for being the worst me possible. A momentary license to lose my public facade. Yet still, they love me.
And home is a feeling I found on the Colchester to London train one balmy summer evening, ending a search (that I was unaware of) spanning three cities, four decades and twenty spaces. It came as quite a surprise to me. For the first time in my life, I realised that home was not a stuff-filled, solid, four-walled building. Rather, it had no physical substance – it was no thing that could be touched.
Home is the quiet stillness I found inside a thought less mind. A feeling of peace. A great fullness.
And there really is no place quite like it.