“The ache for home lives in all of us,
the safe place where we can go as we are
and not be questioned.”
– Maya Angelou
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These are strange times. I’m IN my home, with my husband and daughter. We have food, toilet paper, and the ability to get outside for walks with views. We are comfortable and safe, with a seemingly endless supply of entertainment. We are lucky. We are privileged. I am full of gratitude. But it’s hard not to focus on the desire for what we can’t have right now… and I’m not talking about shopping or grabbing a cappuccino and pastry at the coffee shop, or driving somewhere outside our immediate neighbourhood.
I want all the people who are my home around me – my parents who are 3,000 miles away, along with my sister and nieces. My in-law family who are in the U.K. And the rest of our extended family and friends who are sprinkled around the globe or as close as the nearest town but still as inaccessible.
It’s made me muse on what home really is. Not just the actual building whether that is a house or apartment or cottage, but the people and the memories that reside there.
I recently took some photos for my friend and collaborator, Anne, at her parents’ home in San Francisco. Her parents lived there together until last summer when her mother passed away in her 80’s, and Anne grew up there from her early teens with her sisters and brother. It’s one of those houses where you would want to knock on the door and ask to see inside if you were strolling by. For me, it was a beautiful peek into a San Francisco history that I don’t know, having moved here as an adult.
For Anne, every room and every object in this house are the story of her family. It is a container of memories that contributed to making her the person I am fortunate to know and love.
I imagine her days practicing piano, maybe playing hide-and-seek with her siblings in all the secret corners of the house, and doing her homework at the kitchen table while dinner simmered on the stove.
My childhood home and yard were both my playground and the vessel for most of my memories with my family. My parents sold my childhood home years ago, but those memories are still with me and I now know I don’t need the actual house to hold them.
It’s an old cliché, but home IS where the heart is – just not solely the brick and mortar location. Although don’t we all love to photograph them and what goes on within!?
Hope you are all safe and healthy where you are, close to whatever/whoever most feels like home to you.
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If you’d like to explore surface pattern design, please check out Anne’s website for more information.