At a recent dinner with friends, we were discussing the importance of place, and realized that all but one person at the table had left their homeland. Several families had left war and violence, several had left collapsing economies, and several had ventured for happy reasons like school or love. Whether a few miles or a few continents, even for moves with joyful outcomes, there is a certain heartbreak in feeling far from home, a constant running current of loss.
Yet there are also so many ways to find home – in the company of loved ones, in the clouds of ideas and art, in Proustian tastes or smells, and in the tangible rooting of places that shelter and support us. And in the grander scheme of life, as Ram Dass famously noted, “we are all just walking each other home.”
Dear ones, be it the embrace of a person or an idea echoing across time,
the scent of an apple cake or the knowing of the pines,
let us all experience the soul-deep comforts of belonging.
Let us accompany others.
Let us all be welcomed home.
This NASA photo was featured in the first – and last – issue of the Whole Earth Catalog. I’m reading the terrific biography of Stewart Brand now, where the notion of home is woven throughout.
I’m also diving back into this classic from Ram Dass, inspired by the memory of a dear friend.