It seems that over the last month the news has been filled with countless stories about the devastating loss of lives and homes in natural disasters, such as wildfires and floods, and man-made disasters of refugees forced to flee their homes in war-torn countries. Not only has this seemed prevalent over the last month, but the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on August 29th marked a decade of millions losing their homes. Whether it was due to storms, wars or the mortgage crisis, we have witnessed a decade of pain and suffering as people have not only had to face the loss of loved ones, but also the loss of what represents love, family, security and a sanctuary where we can be ourselves and keep the world at bay for a brief time.
While movies and music are often a way to escape the troubles of the world, sometimes there is a particular scene or line that strikes a chord and remains with you. This occurred with the movie Stuck in Love, a romantic drama-comedy, which does not confront the devastating physical loss of a home, but touched on another issue that defines the loss of the feeling of home, when there is an empty place setting at a table and shadows of loss and emptiness have blocked the sunlight trying to shine through the windows. Early in the movie, there is a scene of the father and son preparing Thanksgiving dinner and the wonderful song, Home, by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros accompanies the dinner preparation and the line in the song, “home is wherever I’m with you” has led to the thought that instead of viewing home through the window panes and by who opens the front door, home should be viewed through a lifetime of memories. They could be memories of childhood homes, your parents home, your first home as an adult, the homes of loved ones and friends you visit, the home where you raised your children, a home filled with birthday and family celebrations or the home that holds your loved ones and all your books and movies. As we move through life and find our people and make our homes, it does not matter if our goal is to become one with nature or with another, spend our life on the road, find a quiet street to raise our children or follow our dreams to a new city, if we go through the days filling our hearts with love and memories,
and the belief that “home is where the heart is,” when the day arrives that an empty place setting remains or the walls are no longer standing, we will have a spiritual home within us filled with a lifetime of love and memories to help us face the loss and emptiness.