- Jessica Ashley Gill
My journey searching and defining "home".
Certain colors and shapes catch my eye because for a second, at a certain angle it feels like home. Home is a feeling I have tried to define for many years. At first I attributed it to the actual presence of the house I grew up. But every time I tried filling the longing by simply going to that house it didn't give me the comfort I was looking for. In fact, sometimes it would trigger scars, wounds, and shadow. A reflection of a person I was no longer, one I was happy to grow out of but also nostalgic for the good memories splattered within.
Maybe my new "homes" Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles" would ease this aching. The destination was always changing. But those homes never felt like "home" either. While providing familiarity and comfort it didn't fill the wholeness I was yearning for.
It is a brave and scary thing to lean into the truth that there is a vastness inside of you, causing you to search for it's completeness.
I started to recognize moments of feeling "home" and took notation of its patterning. On vacation in Joshua Tree, but only when there with certain lovely souls. While sitting in the sun on my roof, but mostly at golden hour and often alone pretending my friends were with me, never when I actually had to host people. Anytime I got to stay inside during a snowstorm, but this only happened after I lived in LA too long and desperately missed the change of seasons. Catching a Sunset, this one was pretty consistent, especially if seen from the beach.
Early mornings before the sun rose, unless I didn't get good sleep the night before, that usually left me dehydrated and nauseous---not a very "home" like feeling. Quiet evenings where the apartment fell silent in a romantic type of way and I was free to write or journal or read or meditate with my crystals or something other hippie behavior I picked up in LA that actually makes me feel good. I noticed some people always brought it out in me, but then there would be a day they didn't and I thought something must be broken in me. Why can I not feel the same joy I once did?
But all of these things were pretty inconsistent. I would try to recreate them, searching for that feeling and every time I went looking for it, it was gone.
I noticed it when I saw things, like the framing around my fireplace or the way the clouds color the sky between two buildings, or the shadows the sun left on my pant leg. Even color palettes or images by incredible photographers online would trigger the "ah" feeling inside me that I wanted to bottle so badly. Those little things would bring me "home" but only for a few moments.
Great cinematography and coloring brought me into the soothing world, transforming my reality into a fantasy but only for a few hours. Then there was music, chord strings, vocal progressions, crescendos, certain songs just swallowed me, radiating completeness in my veins but again only for a short period of time.
At this point I had a pretty good list of examples to draw from. What I deduced from them was this: "Home" is the essence of our soul matching with it's true self, radiating back the vibrational joy we feel of being whole and complete. A place that feels like bliss. But we aren't meant to chase it, we are supposed to surrender to it. Take gratitude for when it comes. Allow it to wash over us, stream tears of joy that we are so blessed to at once feel this ecstasy from something so small. But then we are supposed to let it go, knowing it is not far away and always with us.
You see when you chase something like "home" we are almost always chasing with our conscious brain. Our conscious brains don't know how to align with our soul's desires, it thinks that it does, but it's main job is protection and survival. If we surrender to the pings of "home" and allow our intuition to guide us, we will always return to this feeling.
And the real truth I learned from all this is, "home" is within us. It never left, we don't really need to find it. It is enmeshed with us in every inhale and exhale, every sunrise and sunset. It radiates within us. When we begin to let our guard down, appreciate the small beauties of life, show gratitude for ourselves and of others, recognize the interconnectedness from ourselves to all nature, can we truly feel it's warmth around us.