Monday, December 19, 2005

A Place Called Home

To some people, a home is just a place to be when there is nowhere else to go, and nothing else to do. Here they get their clothes washed and find something to eat, or pay a duty visit to their families.

Home is more than a place; it is a culture of the family. Here the people develop their own language and humour. Here they find out who they really are. In a world that elevates the independent spirit, people at home learn the art of inter-dependence, where one benefits the others, and in return, others aid in the goals of their own brethren.

Home is a place for fellowship; that is, fellows in the same ship. Every family has its unique qualities that can only be understood by other members of the same family. It is a place where such fellowship can be extended to privileged outsiders, but it is not a place where the family identity can be overrun by the public. It is a private, inner social center that includes only a chosen few, and yet, the flavor of it flows outward to benefit the public in many ways.

Home is also a place of recreation. As the years have gone by, I've found it less necessary to go "somewhere else" to pursue my goals and dreams. My adult children have also learned the value of the home, where they can have their own library, their own art center, their own music studio, and their own place of recreation.

Home is a place of creativity. I've spent many evening with my grown family bouncing ideas off one another; exchanging creative ideas to see if they would work. When my children were growing up, they learned that mornings were the most creatively productive times, and spent their early hours of the day pursing writing, drawing, constructing, and any manner of creativity.

Home is a place of enterprise and history. Just about anything a family does, can be turned into something worthwhile to share with others or to give to the next generation. It seems like every detail of our lives at home has a meaning, from the conversation at a meal, to the way we spend our time. As I remember more things about my own grand parents and great-grandparents, I realize how important our everyday, common habits and speech are to the next generation.

When I speak of "home" I am not necessarily pointing to the structure that surrounds the family, or the house. The house is a shelter for the home, and as such, its care and embellishment is a reflection of the values of that home. The dwelling is an extension of that family's values. Its use is boundless. It can be a place of recovery from illness, a place of care for those who cannot care for themselves, or a place of preparation for adult responsibilities.

Home is a place of learning. Having experienced home education myself, I am glad to tell you of its success. There are no boundaries to learning, when it takes place in the home, for here you have a school without walls, a curricula without limits, and a learning without the restrictions of a prescribed course. I've experienced the delights of children learning to read and write, and then taking it beyond what I could have ever imagined. Further though, it is even more reassuring to see that home-education creates in the family a love of learning and a desire for wisdom.

I've seen people walk into a home and be apparently oblivious to its meaning. They barely notice the family photographs or appreciate the arrangement and comfort of the place. They stand there as though they had just walked through the doors of an instutition supported by taxpayers dollars. They lack the ability to appreciate the home.

When my daughter created her first home, she purposed that she would only have things in it that had meaning for her family, not just things that were there for the material benefit or because of a popular style. From the paintings on the walls, to the colors and textures she chose, her home emits that feeling of meaning.

Happily, there are some people who recognize the potential of the home and are doing their best to preserve marriage and the family. The dwelling itself is becoming the most popular place in our country, as television shows that specialize in home makeovers, are becoming more popular. The home improvement business is the fastest growing industry in the country. We will do well to match the bonding of the family --children to their parents, and parents to each other--with this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
I just came on line and took a quickie look at your blog. I quickly scanned over "A Place Called Home." But, I will read it later, my son just came in for his winter break after being away from home six months. The joy of seeing him, and the joy of seeing him enjoying being "home." I am so proud of him. To have him come home brought us all so much joy.
It feels even more like home here, having him visit. Though, we know the day will come when he will make his own home, my hope is that he will have warm memories of his first home with his brothers and sisters and Mom and Dad.
Your blog supports these precious things in life.