Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Place I call Home

What is a Home? How should a Home feel like? Where is Home?

Not sounding like a nomad, these are some of the questions that come to mind when I'm battling with 'nostalgia.' I once had a home—a beautiful home. Not so much in a physical or structural sense but the unmistakably oozing warm feeling of homeyness. Toys strewn and two boys running around making their presence known. The occasional loving and sometimes not-so-loving screams of defense from one child to the other was their way of relating and making sure that someone especially a parent was listening. The fuss made over a spilled hot chocolate on a rug that had every flavor of each day's family meal only played a small part on a chapter about growing pains and growing up. The aroma of home-cooked meals that permeated the walls including a hand woven wall decor that hung ominously above the family room brown sofa was hard to forget especially after a two day cook-a-thon in preparation for a Christmas eve dinner and later finding out that the offensive-to-some smell during Midnight Mass was made up of the family's Christmas dinner menu. My eyes wander among the various ethnic groups during an Advent hymn as I try to match the different smells that lingers in the packed church. I can bet the 'collection basket' that a perfect match each time was right on the money.

Sounds like a stinking chaos? But it's my definition of 'Home'—a real Home! Not according to Merriam Webster or Wikipedia or anyone else for that matter. I yearn to be in that kind of home again. A place to call my own, to do whatever I darn well please. Where without fear of complexity, bacon will sizzle in a frying pan and tilapia fish baking in the oven will send out a stench as far as the Carmel river runs. Where I could freely walk around naked and not have to worry about anyone seeing my unwanted hanging love handles as a sign of a well-fed soul. So maybe the latter is just a bit much and won't stand a chance but it's definitely going on my Bucket List.

Here's a letter I wrote to a friend shortly after the move to a place that briefly felt like Home:

Yes, we’re just about settled in at our new place. What I love most about the area is the beauty of nature that surrounds us. Looking out from our third floor apartment living room windows are lush green mountains with a few houses randomly slapped on them. From our small veranda, if allowed, one can almost touch the various birds that land on the huge pine tree with limbs that partly dip into our balcony. Yesterday, a Wood Pecker worked a hole and today was a Blue Jay that landed on a large pine cone. Directly behind the apartment building, although pricey, is a nice little market to make a quick run for basic necessities. Yes, they even carry a lot of organic produce and serves a variety of hot meals for the Village yuppies and worker bees. This small quaint village of Carmel offers about half a dozen wine tasting outfits and a variety of cozy restaurants and a neat little library where a free membership was issued without any troubles.

Tourists flock here mostly on weekends, and soon, the entire summer. Waking up to the song of birds and the scent of pine trees that travel through the slightly opened windows along with the rays of morning sunshine is refreshing especially when mixed with a hint of eucalyptus flowed in from the nearby trails. At night, the chorus of frogs can be heard from a river a mile away. That, combined with the sound of the neighbor's soothing wind chime is something that makes me wish of breezy nights.

About 4 miles into the mouth of Carmel is Garland Ranch Park where we hike. Among many wild animals, it is known to inhabit mountain lions, rattle snakes and poison oaks. Fortunately I have only encountered the latter and quickly learned to recognize their season colors and avoid them. I hike alone when a partner is unavailable . The feeling when on top of the mountain looking down at Lupine loop that marked my starting point, and the winter green mountains that cradle the village is exhilarating. No fear for mountain lions will take that away. Not even the two-legged creatures they strongly warn female hikers of.

It was an honest feeling that seem to have dissipated too quickly by a force of random disposition. The recipient of this letter responded with a "wow" and adding "this was written beautifully and very descriptive. Thank you for allowing me to participate and giving me the feeling of being there."

I hope to someday feel like I have a Home again, and where? Who knows. Like the healer of all wounds, Time will tell.

This photo of a mother Dove with her two babies on a glass pie plate is a classic example of 'being Home.' The 'pie plate-turned-nest' sat on a corner pillar of a patio gazebo built between the house and a swimming pool. The Dove, oblivious to the small gathering in the gazebo cooed as she played with her babies.
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  1. I hope you find it, Patty, and that it has all those wonderful creature comforts and aromas as well as a fine sofa where your soul may sit and simply BE.


  2. You always know what to say, Malcolm. Thank you for your kind words.