The subject of 'home', and all that means, is a great writing prompt and one that I often use in my life writing workshops.
Home is not only a physical location, but it's a house, parents, family, friends, growing up, life experiences (good and bad) ... there's so much there.
This week I helped a good friend move from the house she'd lived in for over 40 years. It was a special day because I'd helped her move in, all those years ago - almost to the day.
After the house was empty of furniture and possessions, I walked through each room and hallway, saying good bye to the places I'd come to know so well, because I'd been a frequent visitor over all of those years.
I fare-welled 'the window' , one of those old sash-types you see in villas. On the day we moved her in, we weren't able to shut it, and there was a crisis as we were loathe to leave it half open in what was then a dubious neighbourhood, but one that is now full of very expensive homes.
I walked out into the private courtyard, sunny, warm, and full of colourful flowers, where my friend and I had sat innumerable times over lunch and bottles of wine, talking about our writing, encouraging each other with our respective projects.
Our homes are rich repositories of material for stories. There are so many I could write. The home I grew up in Seattle USA where my sister and I would play 'fish' down the laundry chute; our first house after moving to New Zealand, in Murray's Bay on Auckland's North Shore, little more than a fibrolite bach at first, where everyone in the family came down with a vicious 'flu apart from me and I was looked after by our new neighbours who had two cats I adored, Snookie and Tiger; the second house our family had in Torbay where it was rumoured the original owner, 100 years ago, had chased his wife about with an axe; the first home I ever owned, a small unit in an Onehunga complex where the bikie gang next door used our wooden fences for firewood.
My friend has moved to a lovely new unit in a retirement village not far from her old stomping ground. It's warm, with a sea view, and she's treated herself to lots of new and lovely furnishings. I'll look forward to visiting there, having lunch and a glass of wine, enjoyed on the wide and wonderful balcony.