Coming back from our last trip, I realized how much Beacon Hill Friends House had become home. I began wondering what it is that makes a place a home. I imagine it’s different for everybody.
For me, the physical attributes for a place to be home are minimal: good light, a comfortable place to sit, books (of course!), a few cherished things and easy access to outdoors. It helps if the place is relatively neat, but that doesn’t always happen with us.
The physical environment is the least of it for me. Primarily it’s about the people. First, I’d have to say, home is where Bill is. We’ve been married twice as long as we lived before marriage. Home is where we sheltered children and aging parents. But, we sheltered them more with ourselves than with a specific physical environment.
Home is a place where it’s ok to be who and how you are. Not long after returning from a trip I was sitting in the kitchen writing while one housemate made dinner and various people wandered through. I could have gotten more done in the quiet of the library. But, I woke up really crabby that day – jet-lagged and discouraged by the clutter in our room.
There was something comforting about the kitchen and mood elevating about the presence of those who wandered through. Home, among other things, is the place I retreat to when things aren’t going my way, the place where people help me feel better without necessarily knowing I feel bad.
So, yes, Beacon Hill Friends House has become home. The light is good, I have comfy places to sit, books, a few cherished things and easy access to outdoors. Most importantly, Bill is there. We can welcome our kids, grandkids and friends into the space. We are free to be ourselves and are greeted with hugs and joking and good conversation. We can be who we are. What more could we want?
What makes home for you?