Home is where the heart is. Such a cliché, but you hear it all over the world in different languages and variations. It must have some truth. There is no escaping it: the idea of home is an idea of love, being at ease, and having a place where you feel comfortable.
I grew up in the house I was born in. There was a building project in a quiet street, with houses linked by garages, all similar and yet slightly different. I was born in this brick house and could walk to the school at the end of the road. I had friends in the neighborhood. My brother and I each had or own rooms. I decorated mine just the way I wanted to, first purple ballerina wall paper and later a combination of green and orange, which according to the local paint shop would never work. I loved it.
For years we had the same furniture. A wooden desk in the front, next to a big, wooden bookcase. The lounge had purple couches and a wooden coffee table that matched a closet that divided the living and dining area. We would play there a lot, me and my brother. Our dominos would make a long line through the room, or lego would be all over the floor. On the wall hangs an old school clock. It’s pendulum is ever swinging, it’s ever ticking and the loud rings at the full hour drown out any other sound. The clock is still slightly ahead, so it doesn’t interfere with the news.
It wasn’t until me and my brother started going to uni, that the rooms changed. The old, solid dining table made way for a modern one. Orange chairs to match it. An artwork I brought from Africa was put onto the wall, since I had no space to put it in my student rooms. The layout of the lounge was changed and transformed the room to a more open space. I wasn’t living at home anymore. I was abroad for long periods of time, and now I haven’t been home in over a year.
Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I see the home I saw as a kid. Home isn’t really a physical place anymore. It doesn’t have a specific form. Home is the memories of friends and family that I carry with me all over the world. Home is wherever I feel comfortable and make new memories. My mind has a whole compartment full of homes. Sometimes I open it. Places, people, feelings, smells, they come out like a jack in the box. Home really is where the heart is. Mostly though, home is in your head. And, it’s hard to be homesick when you’re carrying it with you!