What makes a home a home? It’s said it’s where the heart is. If a home is the people in it, is it still home when the people are absent?
What makes a house more than just accommodation? What makes it a habitat and how is that habitat identifiably yours? How does our identity stamp itself on the bricks and mortar we spend our days and nights in? In a time where Pinterest-worthy houses vie to show how ‘individual’ they are, all the while aspiring to the same show house ideal, is a home a home if it’s a work in progress? If it’s rented or temporary accommodation or simply a roof over our heads?
For me a home is made a home in the personal details. The crumbs on the table after breakfast, the unmade beds, the disorganised tumble of books stacked on a shelf groaning under the weight, even in the pile of toys carelessly thrown on the floor and left there when a toddler’s mind skipped to the next exciting thing (irritating though it may be to have to go and tidy away!), the treasures gathered over the years, the thrift store finds, the photos on the mantlepiece, the scratches on the table that was once a dining table and is now the kids’ craft centre!
If home is where the heart is, then in my house, the heart is often a little messy (ok a lot – apart from the 10 minutes after the cleaner has been!), fairly disorganised and cluttered, often with things out of place or stuffed in a box for a semblance of momentary tidiness. But it’s also a place where there is a lot of fun and creativity and where beauty can be found even amidst the crumbs.