Cote St. Luc
A house or a home?
I live in a house. I’ve known that since I was old enough to know things. But one thing I’ve only thought about recently is: Do I have a home?
To answer that question I have to know what home is. Lots of people have thought about this before. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. said, “Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” John Ed Pearce said, “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.”
When I first read what Holmes said, I was lost. What did it mean? Then I read it again and… same reaction. But, as they say, the third time’s a charm, and I got it. Holmes is saying that home isn’t a place. A house is a place. Home is a feeling – a place that you could leave but still be there. I think he means that when you leave your family and home to go to school, you’re still coming back to a dinner and family, so you’re never really leaving if there will be someone when you come back.
Pearce’s quote is a different story. Yes, I understood it, but I didn’t agree with it. I, as an 11 year old, don’t want to leave my house. Yes, there are times when I wish I could disappear, but there are also times I appreciate my house. A time I want to disappear is when I’m in trouble. In the moment, I just want to get out of there, but after, I guess it could make an impact. Times I appreciate it is when I lie down in bed. I realize that a lot of people don’t have houses, and even more don’t have homes. For example, kids whose parents are going through a divorce have to come home to fighting and yelling – that’s not home. Home is comfortable and loving. Home is family.
The dictionary tells us that home is “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” I tell you that home is “the feeling one feels when being in an area with loved/liked ones.” I find the dictionaries definition of home inaccurate. I think that its definition would be accurate for “house”. “A building for human habitation, especially one that is lived in by a family or small group of people.” That’s the definition for house. That would be accurate, although my definition would be: “A place where one lives with walls and a roof.” Truthfully, that’s probably more inaccurate than the dictionary’s, because someone’s house could be a tent, which has no walls or a roof. Although where you sleep isn’t necessarily a house. Prisoners – is a jail their house?
A home isn’t a house, it’s a surrounding. A home isn’t a house, it’s where you feel comfortable (which could be your house). A home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.