I took some time to think about what it really means to feel ‘at home’. All the tangible things like the smell of a place, the style of the space, the way things are placed and which things you choose to place around you, but I kept returning to the feeling of being at home. As if it is a sense unto itself. The sense of feeling at home. I realised that to feel at home you must inhabit – this means you must simply spend time in the place. Lots of time. The feeling of being at home for me means that ‘you are held by a space’; it is a place where you can rest, a place where you are contained in the huge spinning of the planet and all the complexities of a wide open world. But how do you make a space do that? Well, I am not entirely sure but perhaps through the rhythms which tell the house it is holding you. Through your presence.
Over three days you choose an hour in the day and you spend time just being in the house. Some of it is spent moving things around but mostly it is a way of putting yourself into the space:
You watch the two swallows building their mud nest just underneath the roof outside the kitchen. They are making a home… for obvious practical reasons like protection from the weather they have chosen this place, but there are so many options, you watch them building and wonder why this particular place? You watch the swallows and all of the life around that seems to be making home around your home at the same time. You think about stretching this further than your home, feeling at home in this place, in this country, feeling at home in your own skin. The feeling comes and goes like waves, or seasons and maybe the feeling itself changes, or what you need in order to feel at home changes. It was initially part of growing up in a family, your parents and your family held this feeling for you- it was simply there. Wherever the family home was, that was home. Now it is up to you. You pick a very delicate white rose from my mothers’ garden and put it in a small glass vase on the dining room table.