by James Jay

I’ll be home for Christmas. Come in and make yourself at home. There’s no place like home. The longest way round is the shortest way home.


We are all familiar with the word, we use it countless times in our lives. In fact I imagine that hardly a week or even a day goes by without using the word home in one context or another. It’s origin goes back to an old English Word ‘ham’, referring to a village where many ‘souls’ are gathered. One dictionary implies that home is “the abiding place of the affections”, which does not suggest bricks and mortar or a room of some kind, more a place where love dwells rather than something solid and owned, rented or sadly sometimes lost or a place we are retired to and/or eventually have to leave.

But the home which we perhaps lose sight of, the one that slips from our minds, if it ever occurs to us in the first place, is the one that is hidden from view, the one which resides between the ears in a place which is frankly undetectable, untraceable and yet is as real and as solid as the walls of your actual ‘home’.

We are born, we live, we die and if we are fortunate we will find what we are looking for in our lives. You may say it’s wealth of some amount, though wealth is of course, relative. You may say it’s an education which will develop us and enable us to forge a path into a career that gives us success, fulfilment, perhaps even a legacy and the greatest legacy some or most would say is our children, for those of us fortunate enough to have them. We may look for and find happiness, love and the life you always wanted. It will come at a price. There is always a price to pay and if you are willing to pay it, you may get what you dreamed of.

But I think that the ‘home’ we may be looking for is the one we see, hear and experience often, but perhaps we do not associate it consciously with our own lives. It’s the home we watch on film, read about in a book, hear it talked of in a story on the radio or we are told sadly, happily or poignantly by a friend or is whispered softly to a child falling asleep or relived time and again to gales of laughter with the assistance of large quantities of alcoholic liquids. It can arise from many sources.

Take the home in the classic film “The Wizard of Oz”. It’s the home that Dorothy loved, but then left and eventually returned to. But it’s the stuff that happened in between the leaving and returning that gives meaning to the word ‘home’.

Depending on your point of view, and here your opinion may differ, but when Dorothy goes on her journey via the ‘Twister’ that carries her ‘home’ away, she is engaged and accompanied by three characters, each with their own ‘flaw’.

The ‘Tin Woodman’ is the helpless romantic who needed a heart to love, the ‘Cowardly Lion’ who needed to find bravery and the Scarecrow who yearned for a brain for intelligence and each in their turn acquired what they needed. Then Dorothy, her journey almost complete, finds her way home by clicking her heels.

You see those three characters, the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodsman were all really a part of Dorothy, a part of her own character that needed to grow and develop so that she could be a complete person and live a fulfilled life and when she was done, she clicked her heels and she went where? Home. In other words, the answer was inside her all the time, she just needed to go on a journey to find herself before realising that her place was at home, which in her case was the home she originated from. But of course, you can make a home anywhere, if you so desire it. In fact your home then, goes with you wherever you may roam.

And I venture that if we are fortunate enough, rather like our film hero’s and heroines, who take their flaws, run with them, test them and go into the woods, emerging bruised, battered and usually whole, they then return to whence they came, home.

But the real journey was the one inside their heads, where their wants turned into needs, where their ego shrank, to be replaced by far gentler insights and actions, where they found a new fulfilment and where they held the respect of the people they love most and where they returned with a secret, an elixir or maybe a new self that was able to live and love more fully than before.

This, I humbly suggest is where home truly lies.

Home is where the heart is.








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