Week 52: ‘home’ 
I like the saying ‘home is not a place…it’s a feeling.’ I can find myself at ‘home’ when I’m visiting friends at their house or at our favourite coffee shop. It’s those warm fuzzy feelings that you get when you walk through the door of your home to put your feet up on the lounge after a busy day at work, the way the dog greets you at the back door begging to come in and be fed, the way the cat does figure eights in between your legs making itself dizzy wanting some attention. I even feel the sense of belonging and home when I walk into my work space. I work at an early childhood setting for young children aged 0-5 and it is very important to have a homely environment where they can belong to and it’s even more of a bonus if the educators can feel the same type of belonging within this environment. I have worked in several other different early childhood settings but have always referred to this one as ‘home.’ 

Thoughts of home can be remembered by certain smells too. The smell of jasmine reminds me of summer and my childhood home. We had jasmine growing up the railings of the stairs to our verandah, with each step we took to get to the front door the scent got stronger. The smell of the ocean reminds me of my home growing up too. We live across the road from the lake and on those hot days the weed that has drifted onto the shore gets a bit sunburned and smells quite distinct. As I drive over a bridge that connects two suburbs within our home town I pretend that I’ve never been across it before. The bridge crosses the beautiful Lake Illawarra and I ask myself ‘would this place make a special home for a family?’ It’s not a hard question to answer as the boats, the crystal clear water, the island, the water sports, the picnickers and the picture the area evokes answers it for you. 

As I continue to drive along the road just past the bridge I see my home. Today our home looks different than yesterday. For today we have an empty car spot out the front. I had to make a heartbreaking decision today to surrender Jacob’s car. I felt really guilty getting rid of it to the scrapers. It runs out of registration tomorrow and it was in need of some major repairs and to fix it and register it again required money we just don’t have at this time of year. It was only ever used as an emergency car if ours were getting serviced. It had done us proud for the period we had it in our possession. Jacob bought it with his own money and it got him from ‘a’ to ‘b’ without much going wrong with it. Watching it drive off on the back of the truck brought the tears strong and fierce. A little white butterfly circled the car for one last inspection and it was gone. I hope Jacob’s enjoying his ride in Heaven now it’s gone home to where he is. I wish you could bottle up those scents that take you home within your memories. His car smelt so familiar still to this day, and by no means an unpleasant smell either. 

I’ve come to realise that the definition of home does not always mean the place where you live. Home is a person or place that makes you feel completely safe and comfortable. Home – a story of who we are and a collection of things we love. 
I will quote these wise words from the mum off the movie cheaper by the dozen 2 – ‘Letting go is the hardest thing you can do as a parent. You have to settle with the past, engage in the present, and believe in the future. We’re always learning as parents, and that the bond is forever. Even as the kids grow up and venture out on their own, we ‘ll always be with them and they’ll always be with us. Because life is a voyage that’s homeward bound…’ 

Here’s a photo of ‘home.’ This is the sight we see as we drive along the familiar road and spot our house with lots of cars out front – minus one. I captured the headlights of another car passing my home looking like a streak of lightning as I took this shot aglow with Christmas lights as well. 

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