We were chatting in between those irritating interruptions called visitors this morning about home and house. What I refer to is returning to the place you were born or in which you grew up. Home in your mind, yet just another dwelling to the passerby.
My 'home' disappeared when my mother died. The flat that we always called 'house' was handed back to the council for use by a new family, well once they chucked the two nancy boys who moved in forts out that is. Why did they get a three bedroomed place when a family was waiting I ask? Mum could have bought the place under Thatchers ridiculous sell off the housing stock idea for £5000! She refused and we agreed that she enjoyed moving out of a tenement of two rooms and a small toilet into the three bed place with kitchen and bathroom, what luxury in 1953! Because we wished another family to get a similar benefit she turned the idea down, and we could have sold it after she left for around £100,000. I hope the new folks get on well there.
However when I return to Edinburgh I will be without a 'home' as that is no longer mine. I can no longer walk in unexpected without getting six months in prison. The family have dispersed and each has a new 'home' where their kids and grandchildren will gather at the centre of their individual little families. A strange sense to no longer have a home while everyone else has.
Of course this is my home, but not as 'home' was home.
For many home is a flat or a three bedroom house, for others a collection of iron sheets or mud walls but the sense is the same, and by the way happiness may be better in such places, that does not come from wealth as we have found. 'Home' remains in the mind as my colleague found when she returned to her long gone parents house, one of the elderly neighbours remembered her and chatted about past times yet things were different, nothing remains the same and the past is in our minds, not in front of us. There must be many who would never return to a home as their past was to say the least rotten. Family or circumstantial difficulties may leave bad memories and returning would be a terrible time for some. Just be glad that you may be able to return 'home' even if only in the mind, that home is a good place to be.