Sunday, November 11, 2012


Last weekend, I went back to Southern California to spend time with my family. Along with the joy and good times, visiting can also bring a bittersweet twang of what we left behind when we moved away from California. Don't get me wrong: I love Washington, and I'm very happy here. But...I was also very happy there, and going back often makes me ponder the definition of "home."

Is home where we currently reside?

Is it where we were born, where we were educated, or maybe where we lived the longest?

Is it where we're the happiest, where we feel the least lonely, or the most like ourselves?

Is it the first place that comes to our lips when we're traveling and someone asks where we're from?

Is it...

Where we have the most friends? Where our children are? Where we first fell in love? Where people remember our parents? Where our kids grew up? Where people have the accents of our family? Where we go in our dreams when we're asleep? Where we go in our dreams when we're awake? Where loved ones are buried? Where we feel safest? Where we feel loved?

I agree that home is where the heart is, but my heart is in many places. And I feel blessed.

* * *

Two of my completed manuscripts have themes that deal with "home," though they don't have much in common beyond that. Do you have any recurring themes in your work? How do you define home?

Click here for Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound."


Stephanie Thornton said...

My current WIP has a new theme for me: mothers and daughters.

I enjoy both Washington and California (great states), but for me, home will always be Alaska.

Angelina C. Hansen said...

When I refer to home, I always mean my beautiful hometown, Ashland, Oregon. I lived there for 25 of my 42 years. Colorado doesn't quite feel like home yet, but I'm enjoying it. Not sure about the 1 degree temperature this morning, but I love the big blue sunny skies. ^_^

Anonymous said...

I once joked with a travel companion that home was where I lay my head. When I'm elsewhere, I can't wait to get back to my hotel the same way I'm eager to get to my house.

When I move I don't feel like I'm at home for a few months. There's only been two places I've lived in that never felt like home to me. The areas left me cold and I don't have fantastic memories of those times of my life.

Dawn Simon said...

Stephanie, mother and daughter relationships can be so interesting! I've never been to Alaska, but I'd like to go someday.

Angelina, Oregon is a beautiful state. So is Colorado--but be sure to bundle up! Brrrr! :)

Medeia, it's nice that you usually feel at home within a few months.