I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.Maya Angelou, poet (1928 -2014)
comforts of home
What makes a house a home? Even a dog can discern that. It’s the feeling of comfort, belonging, and safety. It is the reason I do not fear my dogs wandering off should the door be left ajar. They have food, clean water, a cool place to rest in the summer, warmth in the winter, and get lots of attention. While my own childhood home was rarely so, as a child I know others’ homes that beckoned visitors and where friends shared meals with me. And for the last two decades, our home has been people- and dog- welcoming. Just as dogs sense whether someone is a dog-person, people can sense if a house is a home.
Heavy rain and cool temperatures last week made errands inconvenient. Work began on our kitchen, causing a little upheaval to our comfort, with plastic barriers and demolition dust. And meant that we are reduced to using a hotplate, tabletop microwave, and a coffee maker. Notably, our dogs adapt to more-crowded rooms and the plastic barrier to the kitchen easily. Perhaps it is because their dog bowls, food and water have moved along with everything else into the living area.
In contrast to my temporary inconvenience, there are many who are in discomfort all the time.
Not very far from my home, a morning or two before Christmas, I saw people who sought shelter from the night’s downpour still huddled in doorways. Others who slept in tarp shelters, under bridges and behind warehouses. I am grateful for the ability to be “inconvenienced” while our kitchen is painted and new counter tops are fashioned. The world has much more pressing issues than finding room to plug in one’s refrigerator. For those homeless people, as it is for dogs like Comet, who has known discomfort, hunger and loneliness, home is much more than where one finds oneself. Home is where everyone longs to be.