When told he is always welcome to return home to live, my charming son makes a face. “That would be like returning to the pits of meaningless despair.” I can’t say it makes my day but I can understand.
If your childhood home came up for sale and you could afford to buy it, would you? I know two people who inherited a childhood home and decided not to sell. They’re actually living in the houses they grew up in and neither had what I would describe as a “happy” childhood. Divorces, premature deaths, alcoholism, insanity. The works… all enclosed in cramped houses with faulty plumbing, aging wallpaper and moldy basements. Perhaps they wanted to return to the familiar, no matter how filled with sour memories. Or perhaps they hoped to form happy memories to drive away the demons.
Recently my nephew was in the market for a new house. One of the listings that he found and shared with his father, was the house we’d spent the majority of our childhood in. Even though my nephew had been there when he was a child, he hadn’t recognized it. Will he buy it? Who knows.
I know I’m in the minority. From the quotes I found on line, most folks think of home as a welcoming, warm place full of wonderful memories.
After you leave home, you may find yourself feeling homesick, even if you have a new home that has nicer wallpaper and a more efficient dishwasher than the home in which you grew up.”Lemony Snicket
“You can’t go home again because home has ceased to exist except in the mothballs of memory.”John Steinbeck
“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing’s sake, back home to aestheticism, to one’s youthful idea of ‘the artist’ and the all-sufficiency of ‘art’ and ‘beauty’ and ‘love,’ back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, to the cottage in Bermuda, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time–back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”Thomas Wolfe