Homebody. It is such a negative word. Someone who is boring, wants to be own the house all the time, doesn't like travel or adventure. It conjures up dullness.
I dispute it. I dispute it all.
Let's try this for a definition.
Homebody. Someone who has a strong sense of belonging, knows the beauty of what she has and finds contentment in simple things that are already around.
Clearly I am defending myself here. I love my home, my yard, and mostly I love the sense of self that I find there. I know that I could make this home anywhere. It is not actually this house or this land. It is the sense of love and comfort that I bring to it. We create our own sense of belonging around a place.
I am a homebody. Two or three days away and I am ready to go home. I miss the blossoms in my yard, the big old cracks in my wood floors, and the way the light comes in my studio window. I begin to crave the same routine that was beginning to bore me slightly before I left. I would go anywhere if I could go for three days. It just is not practical.
Sometimes I feel self critical. I feel as if I should be on the go more. Should. There it is again. Should, should, should. I should do this. I should do that. If someone else beside myself was laying all these shoulds on me, I would ignore them. It is harder to shut yourself up than anyone else.
I think it is because the people around me get such joy in the adventure of travel that I naturally wonder if I should be on the go too. Then I remember how I feel when I leave. When I leave, after two or three days, I wait to come home. No matter where, or how beautiful the place I am, the longing begins. That is not to say I do not enjoy myself, I do. I see the beauty. I love the food. I get in the moment and I walk and I take it all in. In the midst of all of that I still pine for home.
I think when I travel I find it harder to find the simple things. I remember once in Athens wandering into a quiet park and buying a bag of roasted nuts and thinking this is good. So in this beautiful historic city it was that bag of nuts that I remember. It is harder to find the little beauties of a regular life in a place you do not know.
When I go away I have to surrender my love of the familiar and on some levels my sense of belonging. Part of it I carry within me, my sense of self. But part of it gets left behind. Perhaps if I could carry it all with me I would love to go, but I love the way the sun sets out my back door and how the moon is above my bedroom windows at night when I look out to say my prayers. I love the lavender that I planted everywhere. I love orchard, the pond, and the sense of solidity that a two hundred year old house gives to a life. And I am not that crazy about leaving it all behind.
And it's alright.
- Deanne Fitzpatrick