Having a sense of home is something I've struggled with for some time. We have moved a lot. Five cities in three different countries and countless houses since my early twenties. So knowing what home feels like and means to me has become somewhat clouded over time.
And I know I'm not alone. I have this conversation with those around me who move often.
What is home? How do we find it? Or feel it?
When it comes to finding home he asks himself "Do I feel at peace? Is there a sense of ease? Like I can just be".
He first mentions geography. Do we geographically live in a place where we get a sense of peace and ease? Does where we are living in the world give us these feelings? Do we love the climate?
Perhaps not. And that's not something we can necessarily control due to work or family commitments.
So what are the qualities of places where we feel at ease? And how can we bring them into our daily life?
Water has always been my place of calm. Where I can sit and stare endlessly. Where I exhale and feel well, at home. Perhaps it's why I look back at our time living in an apartment at Teneriffe as feeling the closest to resembling home. Because it was right by the river. And I could relish the morning light as I walked at sunrise.
For others it's forest. Vast farm land. Or being amongst historical buildings. It varies for each of us.
Right now I love our backyard. It feels private and safe. We have trees and grass. I like to sit and watch the kids play. And enjoy casual alfresco dinners together as the sun is going down.
On the other side of the house is a busy road with trucks thumping by. It's noisy. And for that I'm struggling to feel that sense of home. But I sit in the yard daily. And admire the light hitting the river on the mornings that I drive my son to school, noticing the calm it helps me feel.
Jonathan then discusses our immediate physical environment as we work. What are the qualities of it that give us a sense of home? Where we can feel inspired and do our work more productively.
Being a mum of two littlies I spend a lot of my time at home. So having a space that is functional, organised, and clean helps me go about my day more productively. And with an appreciation for aesthetics surrounding myself in beauty helps me to feel inspired and in harmony with my physical environment.
When I write I like to work from a cafe. I'm not exactly sure why. But I feel at ease when I write and life is moving around me. I listen to Boards of Canada through headphones, order a nice coffee and simple breakfast and I write. The words come easily. I feel in a zone. In flow. So I try to do it weekly on my one day without the kids.
Home is also about connection. Establishing relationships with those who provide love, who appreciate us, and help us feel a sense of belonging. Community. People who get us and see the world the way that we do. Who uplift us rather than weigh us down.
When we moved abroad this is what I struggled with the most. Especially as a new mother. It was a lonely time. I lived through Facebook as it was my closest connection to those friendships I loved and valued. But as time progressed connections were made, and great friendships blossomed. And then we moved again! But thankfully those friendships continue to this day. Dare I say it, thanks to the digital world.
So home. Finding it and feeling it can take some time. Time to establish those connections which grow into beautiful friendships. Difficult to do if we are always moving. But not entirely impossible.
And as Jonathan says, notice those geographical and environmental elements that help us feel at peace and ease. And bring them into our lives in any way we can.
Perhaps then we find home.