I have always struggled to find a home… not that I haven’t really had a place to live, or sleep… but just that my heart has never really settled down anywhere since I lived in Central Otago. Since leaving Cromwell back in 1987, I have lived in Palmerston North, Auckland, Edinburgh, London and now back in Auckland… I always struggled to put down any roots cos it was always someone else’s home… Palmy was Dad’s… Auckland was a place to live… Edinburgh and London were O.E. locations and then Auckland was my wife’s home.
When my good mate Jono and I did a South Island road trip back in 1999… we had an awesome time… and as we drove from Invercargill to Cromwell we came to a hill with a tree on top that actually brought tears to my eyes… in my head, I was coming Home. Whenever we used to travel anywhere, coming through the Cromwell Gorge and seeing that tree meant that I was home… Funny that 12 years after leaving, my heart still felt the same sense of place.
We just brought my little daughter home from the hospital, and carrying her through the front door of a house that we own is pretty much convincing me that Home is never about buildings or places… it is about the people that you love and you care about. Home is wherever my 3 girls are! Home is where we share life together, and build memories… where we work through issues and celebrate the good, the bad and the ugliness of the potplants.
I wonder where my Dad’s sense of home was? He was from a very close family in Palmy… He lived all over the country with his work and when my parents separated, I wonder where his home was then? Did he miss me? How did he feel when he was coming back to NZ? I will only be in Samoa a week, I don’t anticipate that it will become my home in a week – but will I bring home a bit of my Dad with me? Will I meet people that he knew? Will I build a home that has memories of my Dad flowing through it? To be honest, I have inklings of answers to some of these questions… but part of the journey of life… is working out the answers in the right times and in the right places, surrounded by the right people..
Kinda like… at Home.