Home is where the Heart is

Most humans tend to want a place to belong to. A place to call one’s own where they plan to settle down and possibly spend the rest of their lives. I’d say the vast majority of people stick within their comfort zone and choose to stay where they were born and brought up. Lucky are they who find one love and get to keep it forever. Many other people aren’t so fortunate. Reasons arise that lead to a move. As a child, it could be where your parents work. Later it could be where you go to study away from family. Or in many cases people move away when they are starting their marital lives to a place that suits both partners better than their original place(s) or perhaps out of foresight about where best to raise their children.

As some wise people say, humans expect constancy but the natural way of things is change. So the attempt is made to go with the flow. Philosophers ask why we tend to hold on; grab on to something and stick with it. Why can’t we remain unattached to things which are impermanent. I used to be such a philosopher.

I discover with age a more human aspect of things. The weaknesses, the irrationality, the lack of self control, the wild and intense emotions that heed not any reason. Any clarity one has in childhood about what one’s attitude is to the world, reality changes. Experiences change it. And although there is strength and intelligence that comes with age, it doesn’t match up to what life throws in one’s path. Things happen so fast you are left wondering when you’ll have the luxury of time to figure things out and form a perspective on them; understand the changes in life and in oneself.

Moving away from a place you are used to causes such confusion at a profoundly exponential level. It is most healthy to stay in one place. Find a place in the society and be happy with those who make up your community. When one moves, one has to start again; learn the place, the language, the people, the climate, local vegetation and expected household pests, and get used to it all all over again. This move can be the best thing if you need a change. If you have done something wrong and have been outcasted, or if you feel stuck in your place in society, a move can be the greatest thing. A second chance, a clean slate, etc. But when there is enough love around you, moving causes pain. Nostalgia, homesickness.

But let’s see it this way. A move helps you see the value of everything. The people, the place. It helps you stay in a state of gratitude. A move shows you the wonders of the world and how people are essential the same everywhere.

So movement is good. It helps people grow. It can be a bumpy ride but maybe it makes you stronger and wiser. And maybe at the end of the day we need to feel attached to something which, as philosophers suggest, is less impermanent. The sky above, how it is by nature blue, no matter what the clouds do to hide it at times. It is blue. Life, nature which is in any part of earth. The greeness of leaves. The brightness of the precious Sun. Love and compassion which is most human to seek and give. These are the things one must place one’s heart in. And there we will feel at home.