Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Home and the Big Here

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I'm a fan of WorldChanging, and a couple of weeks ago, they posted an essay that I've been meaning to comment on. The question raised in the essay is, "Where is home?".
"Home is a fiercely individual concept: it's hard to articulate all the elements that make a 'home'; our location, and notion, of home may change over time; we may not be able to live at home for various reasons; and how we are comfortable with our environment and the people around us are all, I think, wrapped up in this notion of 'home.'"
I lived in Los Angeles for 16 years but don't think it was ever home to me. Some parts of it felt comfortable and I developed emotional attachments to my high school and the LA Eco-Village, but the city itself was simply there. Furthermore, I did not particularly like the there. When I think of good things about LA, I think of people, not places.

Where is home, then? For most of my life, I've had a deep emotional connection to temperate deciduous forests. I don't know what it is about the forest landscape that makes me feel peaceful and comfortable, but it's powerful. Two years ago, I got to spend a summer at Cranberry Lake Biological Station in the Adirondacks and upon arrival, I immediately felt it to be home. It was there that I hit upon the phrase, "Home is where what is inside you matches what is outside you".

What about now? I'm living in Athens, GA, which has the forests I so love, although many areas are still dominated by pine. There are many things -- and people -- I like here, but the city does have problems. (The public transportation system sucks!) Will Athens become home? I don't know yet.

In connection with this, I will start doing Kevin Kelly's "Big Here" quiz, which provides a structure for exploring the place where you live. Stay tuned for question 1!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Home is where what is inside you matches what is outside you"

I am sure people who work at sewage treatment plants can relate to that. Heh, heh...