The four walls that surround me, when they surround me, when I’m surrounded. Once a word that meant familiarity, routine perhaps, for many it has now become synonymous with change, uncertainty. Die Heimat, the German word for homestead, has changed. Homestead was where you were born and where you died. For me, this is no longer. Home is where I am in the present, but perhaps not in two years time. The immigrant’s burden perhaps? Forever between the here and the there, but also an acknowledgment that finding a Home is not so easy anymore. Life in ever-changing evolvement, life in flux.
In 2014 my daughter is born. Before she arrives we know she is a she and we ponder names, a name that will travel, a name that will be neither here nor there - but both - a name that will feel like it belongs, wherever it is. We don’t realise at the time that the name we land on will in fact, in a far-away language we don’t speak, mean exactly that: home. A good friend tells me this after my daughter has been born and gradually as the years pass, this has come to feel true.
One morning I wake up and think that perhaps this is the new meaning of home: not the house, the flat, the hut, the shed – but who I am with, how they make me feel.
These days, the latter is not unimportant. Both on the personal front, as well as in society: Home is also this - a welcoming face, a loving face, a face that wishes you well, a face that makes you feel like you belong no matter where you have come from or where you might die, but because you are here, now, and for now that is all that matters. I embrace you and welcome you – home.
What does home mean to you? Share your stories and thoughts in the comments below.
Line Langebek @lenalongstream is a screenwriter, translator, lecturer, mother and campaigner. She's passionate about using stories as a way to change the world and is one of the co-founders of Raising Films @FFFilmaking, which campaigns for equal opportunity for parents/carers in the film industry. She was part of the Our Gaze Is On Gaza campaign and is also co-chair of the @TheWritersGuild Film Committee.