But these definitions can only describe in words a place of the heart. For that there are no words. That feeling of comfort in knowing there is one little place in the whole wide world that is your own. The place you hang your hat so to speak. And that could be a mansion, or a hut made of sticks in the African Savannah. It is all the same.
The place where you can relax, escape, enjoy a homemade meal, have some peace, share with the ones you love, even if that is your beloved pet. A place to keep your belongings, photographs, favorite books and music, your special things.
A place to entertain friends and family.
As humans our whole way of life is centered around home. Even if we are nomads, we still have a homeland. It is our identity, our anchor in a sea of change.
Books are written about home; the longing for home, the shared experiences of home, the quest to go home. Among these are some of my favorites of all time, 'Gone With The Wind', about Scarletts' love of Tara, her beloved plantation; 'Green Mansions' about a girl whose home was in the South American Jungle; 'Anne of Green Gables', the orphan with a desire for a home of her own; 'Lassie Come Home', my childhood favorite about a beloved lost pet searching for home.
Wars are fought over homelands, people die for their home. We even call street people, 'homeless'. That is how important our homes are to us.
We have a need to find that one special place on Earth to make all our own. But what we need to realize is that this Earth is our home. Our very special home in all the vastness of the Universe. We need to give her the care and the love that we give our own little homes upon her.
And we need to have compassion for those who have lost their homes, who are homeless, who are far from their homeland and living in a strange land. For they have lost the most important thing, their place in this world.
We share this world with not only humans, but many other creatures who also deserve homes and have been displaced and had their homes polluted and destroyed by us.
And so, when we wake up in the comfort of our homes, or come home at the end of the day, let's remember how precious having a home is. Let's think of all those who have lost their homes and have compassion. Let's try to take better care of our shared home, Mother Earth, and all of Earths creatures like us, who depend on her. Do what you can, every little bit counts. But most of all let's remember how fortunate we are and never take it for granted that we are the lucky ones and all it takes is a turn of fate to have it all taken away in an instant.
So be generous with what you can give, even if it is pocket change to a homeless person, food for a food drive, clothes for the local charity, $10 to disaster relief. Clean up after yourself, do not litter, dispose of hazardous materials properly, re-examine our use of toxic products and pesticides. We are all in this together, sharing our one little world, a place we call Home.