Over the past weeks, I’ve been re-reading Frank Herbert’s Dune. It is considered the godfather of the sci-fi realm, despite its storyline (a disinherited prince reclaiming his land and restoring honor to his befallen house) almost being as old as time.
As I’m reading about the world of Arrakis – a harsh, unforgiven planet where there is nothing but sand and water is a luxury – I’ve been thinking about my home. About growing up in a country where summer water restrictions exist, where summers stretch to almost 6 months.
As I’m following the journeys the characters take forced to move homes in a large game of politics, I’m thinking about what makes a home and how home is a funny concept.
It’s a building with walls, floors, doors and a roof to keep you sheltered from the weather, and yet the concept is so much more.
I’m asking myself, what makes a home, a home?
Does a building make a home? Or do you make a home out of a building?
People say home is where the heart is. Home is where I feel safe, with the people that I love, a place where I can put my roots in the soil. It is where the smell of coffee, mixed with homemade dishes, mixed with the sound of German rising and falling in the background.
Home is the place where my roots have found themselves a place where they can grow.
It’s the feeling of sea breeze over the Indian Ocean. It’s the late night cuddles and talks about life with my man. Home is the smell just after it rained. It’s the soil of my plant pot that I’m trying to nurture.
Home is what I’ve made in the four walls of my rented apartment. Home is the feeling of lying in the hammock, with the sun shining through the leaves in the garden of my childhood home.
Home is where I am safe, surrounded by those whom I love.
As I’m thinking about all this, I’m reminded of a passage in Dune. I’m reminded how interconnected we are all are, how people can make up what “home” means for us.
“There stand I, [Thufir] Hawat thought.
‘Thufir, what’re you thinking?’ Paul asked.
Hawat looked at the boy. ‘I was thinking we’ll all be out of here soon and likely never see the place again.’
‘Does that make you sad?’
‘Sad? Nonsense! Parting with friends is a sadness. A place is only a place.’ He glanced at the charts on the table. ‘And Arrakis is just a place.'”
– Dune, Frank Herbert, p42
So next time someone asks me how I’d define what a home is, I’d answer like this:
“A place is a place, a home is what you make out of that place and the people you meet.”