What do we need to make a home? Where do we feel at home?

Houses are built of bricks and mortar, metal and wood. But a home is made of elements that don’t rely on those materials or boundaries to define its essence. As an adult, I’ve let go of two houses and much of the contents that defined them, and as I once thought, defined me. Foundations do crumble, houses aren’t always permanent, and what we believed to be secure and certain—money, relationships, family, employment, ourselves—can be made vulnerable and fragile by their loss.

We all need shelter, a place that provides our hearts and minds, our being with comfort and safety. Sometimes, that isn’t provided where we live. Sometimes, feeling at home means being with those people who anchor our hearts and provide us with a stability stronger than the walls that surround us.

As a solo parent I struggle at times with the financial burden of maintaining our two-storey apartment in an old house. Even so, I strive wholeheartedly to make it our home. To bring simple, inexpensive, comforting elements into our surroundings and our lives. The places we’ve inhabited become physical reminders of how our lives were shaped and altered during our stay. When we move on, we become a part of each new landscape we encounter. And we carry with us the essence of what it is we need to make a house a home.

Where are you most at home?

photos by: bliss {in images}