Home and Habitat
I’ve been travelling constantly for four years now and here in a banlieue / suburb of Paris while watching a TV show on Australian Indigenous peoples, I contemplate what it is to have a home and to be at home.
Many people have homes but are not necessarily at home in their own skin. I certainly was like that in the past, surrounded by things others told me were valuable, but now having divested myself of such attachments, both mental and material, I can feel at home and create an authentic inner home for myself just about anywhere. The animals I care for help me to restore that connection myself. Their presence helps me to restore and rebalance after journeys big and small.
As I watch this programme I can’t help but think that we white Australians have never fully understood the relationship of the First Australians to the land, the land which was their source of physical and spiritual nourishment, guidance from the ancestors, and provider of all their needs. When they were sent away to missions their dispossession was complete. And yet their spirit remains resilient.
Its also hard in Paris not to think about the homeless, the scores of asylum seekers who live on the streets with their children and animals, their countries destroyed by war. And while the physical aspects of home are accentuated in the latter example, its the human connections which light the flame of hearth and home. But in order to enjoy that warmth first of all, we have to be comfortable in our own skin-no matter where we find ourselves