I lived in exactly two homes growing up: one farm until age 2, and then the farmhouse where my parents still live. For me, home is where the hearth is. It's the people too, but it's bedsheets fresh from the sun-kissed line and evening red-winged blackbird songs and antique glass doorknobs that sparkle like diamonds and perfectly planted rows of corn and acres that I could get lost in.
Now that I'm all grown up (!) and have kids of my own, I often think about these questions: what is home? What makes a house feel like home? How do you create that sense of home regardless of where you are or how far you've traveled from your childhood home? Because in my mind, home isn't the house we're in right now in suburbia. It works, and it's fine, but it doesn't really feel like home. To me, this is home:
Home is people, a place, a sensory experience, a feeling of welcome and belonging and all-is-right-with-the-world.
I want my kids to know a piece of land and love it like it's their own. And to know that they are deeply connected to these hills, these plants, this wild place.
To shimmy and slide down gravel pit hills, scoop tiny tadpoles from swamps, learn the perfect shade of a ripe raspberry, eat the best tastes of summer right from the earth, watch a blue heron fly overhead, and come home with hands and feet dirty from the warm, fertile earth.
To know the scratchings of deer on bark, the many shades of fungi growing on old trees, raccoon tracks in the mud, smooth brown chestnuts inside prickly shells, to swing so high they can touch the tops of the corn stalks. This is exactly what I want. This is home to me.