Earlier this month I looked around my home and thought – this looks tired and so do I. Clearly, I’d been living on a tight budget (of money and time) for too long. It was showing in the faded bedsheets and towels,the biscuit-like pillows, the charred oven glove, the cat biscuits stuck too far underneath the washing machine to easily reach. My home revealed that I’d been getting by on just the minimum. I’d lost what home meant to me, and with nowhere to truly rest, my tiredness was crushing.
I took time to ask myself – when I think of home, where am I craving to go? What is it that I want?
It is not silence I crave at home. Silence is cold. Silence is boredom. Silence can feel like the reflection of loneliness in a dusty mirror. Quietness, though, is a comfort. It allows for small noises – trees rustling, birds chirping, the radiator gently buzzing, even the murmuring of the tv. Quietness is warm and doesn’t demand perfection.
At home I crave warmth. My skin tends to chill easily. I need my doors to close snuggly. Breezes are for watching movement through my study window. Home is a place where there are no draughts. I listen to the wind blowing through the bamboo at the back fence, but I am protected.
Home is a stillness. Home is a place of rest and ease. There is nothing to prove because there is no one to be. It is filled with people who know I am no one and love me for it. I am as unseen and essential as oxygen.
Slowly, I have been restoring home: fresh bedclothes, soft pillows, a pristine oven glove. Appliances and furniture have been moved with crumbs and cat fur removed. The towels are still faded. Some beds in the garden still need weeding. But there is a new flow of love and care around the home and the tiredness is dissipating. I don’t feel like I’m stagnating anymore.