“Where we love is home” Oliver Wendell Holmes
“So where is your home?” I could be cute and say it’s an inner place, my home. The truth is, when I am asked this question as I introduce myself to a new person and define my current lifestyle as a house sitter, that I have no home of my own and yet at the same time I have many.
“So you do have a home don’t you?” My lifestyle can bring up such fear in others without any intention on my part to do so; particularly in women of my age or older. But I’m not asking anyone to follow my lead;this life of constant change suits me at present and sustains me in ways I never experienced when living a settled life.
“When are you going to settle down and give up your gypsy lifestyle?” A friend, who thinks I’ve had it too good for too long, gives a subtle admonition to change my ways suggesting irresponsibility or perhaps its instability that she disapproves of. Of course, she knows nothing of my life before because I haven’t shared it and therefore makes assumptions about my “irresponsible” ways. But I am responsible for myself and do not expect others to provide adventure, challenge and growth in my life, that’s my job.
I question myself from time to time on where I feel most at home. Yes, there are some places, where I feel more “at home” that is relaxed, than others. Then again,through this journey, I’ve discovered that I can be at home within myself even in challenging circumstances and sometimes its the challenge itself which shows me where my inner home lies.
Over the past eighteen months I have had many different homes;some on the coast, others inland, some which were large and well-appointed, some smaller and cosy. I’ve learnt to make myself at home in a variety of different cities and towns under many different roofs.
Then there is the household machinery to be mastered and believe me I’ve learnt to use every possible kettle, coffeemaker and washing machine. In this aspect of domestic life, I’ve developed a routine which sustains without the stress of using new implements.
I take it easy. So long as I have sufficient food water and power for myself and the pets in the first couple of days, I take my time in learning how to use the infinite variety of machines that go ping! Eventually, I learn to master the counter-intuitive mechanical beasts without stress.
There is one home I return to on a regular basis and though the address and domestic machinery remains unchanged, the life of the inhabitants is always changing.The home of my family-that is, son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Each visits brings me such delight in young Josie and Jack’s growth, learning and exploration of the world. In some ways, we are on a similar journey.