I like that phrase. It implies what I think is a truth: that you carry your sense of belonging and acceptance with you wherever you go. That home is a state of being. I can sense when someone is at home with me, regardless of our physical setting. I can tell if someone feels at home in my house, and whether or not they are at home with themselves.

Some time ago, I had an idea that home is where your heart meets the world without fear. Wherever the safe place is for a person to meet the unknown without fear, that’s what home is. Maybe that’s within a certain group of people, a family. Maybe it’s from the security of a specific town or house with a certain familiarity. Maybe it’s being buried between the covers of any good book. Maybe it’s a particular pace or rhythm of life that rocks you with a cadence that echoes in your heart. When I look at the faces of people I love, I feel like I’m home.

I have found that as I get older, the boundaries for what I call home seem to get broader and broader. I thought of this as an artifact of having wider experiences, or somehow knowing more. Lately, though, that train of thought seems to be an illusion. In reality, I think my heart is becoming more at home in itself, and that makes everything I experience part of home in some respect.

Maybe I’m turning into a bit of a turtle, carrying home around with me wherever I go. For the shaman, turtle is a very powerful animal totem, the oldest symbol for the Earth and the personification of eternal Earth energy itself. I like that.

In any case, over the next few months I’ll have lots of family members returning home for holidays. I think this is a good time to think about what that means, how we create meaning about home together, and what we can do to intentionally bring our hearts in harmony to meet the world without fear.

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