Home sweet home…

I was wondering if you had also seen it…?  That is, of course, if you live in Ermelo and happen to drive past the Sport-In sometimes…I am referring to the run-down, decrepit white minivan that had been parked there, for weeks…

At first, I thought someone had abandoned the vehicle, but then, as the days went by and I saw it early every morning on my way to the studio, and at night when I drove home, I realized that people were actually living there.  To me it was such an unsettling thought that the van is their only home…

I never saw the people living there, they kept to themselves.  I don’t even know if it’s a family.  But during the day the side door was open, and they even used a few reeds and a blanket to pitch a sort of awning.  And then, Thursday, they were gone, as if they had never been there in the first place…

In her brand-new novel, “Homecoming”, the Australian author Kate Morton writes: “Home isn’t a place or a time or a person, though it could be any, and all, of those things.  Home is a feeling, a sense of being complete.  The opposite of home isn’t away, it is lonely.  And when someone says, ‘I’m going home’, what they really mean is that they don’t want to feel lonely anymore…”

I cannot imagine what it must feel like to wake up in the middle of the night in an old banger, surrounded by total darkness, feeling cold and desolate…Not having a home, not feeling at home, not coming home, not going home, ever. 

For those of us fortunate enough to have grown up in houses owned by our parents, they were the backdrop for our childhood memories — the places we played and argued and hung our artwork and marked the door jamb with pencil lines as we grew taller.  It’s where we sheltered from the world, took our first steps, and learned about life.

But “home” is not just a word, but a huge pile of emotions.  My eyes, mind and hearts have captured so many precious memories over the years.  As I think back on all the fond times, I can remember feeling at home inside so many of them.  I think in a sense home IS all the moments that take your breath away.

Home can be anything for different people – to the current Saudi monarch King Salmin bin Abdulaziz it’s the sprawling Al-Yamamah Palace with its 1000 rooms, to Prince William and Kate it’s Buckingham Palace. I wonder what home really is to Harry and Meghan…?  They don’t seem to belong anywhere at the moment.  But it’s really none of my business. To me home is 67 Pet Street.  And Mirna’s Aerobic Studio.

Home can be family, pets, friends, diaries, favourite holiday destinations, and yes, it can even be your gym, your happy place, like the studio is my second home, with all its familiar smells, equipment, mirrors, and photographs, and of course, its people.

Home is the feeling you get when you walk into a place that just has your name written all over it.  A place that feels like a warm blanket.  A touch or a look from someone.  A moment when you catch yourself smiling only to smile even bigger.  A place where you feel most creative, light, and alive.  A place that lights you up and gives you energy.

We don’t think about the idea of “having a home”, or “coming home” enough…

A fortnight ago Schalk and I had the privilege to visit Zander and Mariné for the very first time, staying with them in their cosy new home in Stellenbosch.  It was so amazing to experience the excitement of the two newlyweds, and to see how easy they have adapted to married life.  But the most heart-warming of all, was their warm hospitality, open hearts, and open arms, and the ease with which Zander calls us Mom and Dad.  We felt so welcome, and I know in a few years it will be no different when we visit Eswee and Nicole.

Researchers say that feeling “at home” is not just a nice-to-have. It’s fundamental to our sense of wellbeing.  “To be rooted,” French philosopher Simone Weil wrote in 1942, “is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.”

How privileged we all are to have homes – places of sanctuary.  Places that largely determine our health. The water we drink, the air we breathe, the security we feel – all start at home. For the fortunate, home is where we thrive. 

Home is where we feel safe, secure, loved, and accepted.  Where we can be ourselves 24/7, where we can laugh without shyness and where our tears can dry at their own pace.  Where we don’t have to define our strengths or explain our responses.  Where we do second chances. Where we do real. Where we do mistakes. Where we do “I’m sorrys”. Where we do loud really well. And hugs. And above all, where we do together…

Today’s Blog is just a reminder to be grateful, that in this ever-changing world, the familiar smell of furniture and coffee, and the unique creak of the cupboards, our homes really are our havens.  Places that evoke a sigh of relief as we walk in the door.  Places where our habits have a habitat. 

There really is no place like home.  In the words of the Roman philosopher, Marcus Tulius Cicero: “There is no place more delightful than one’s own fireside.”

Home sweet home.

Yours in fitness

082 779 0507

2 comments to “Home sweet home…”

You can leave a reply or Trackback this post.
  1. Colette Barnard says:

    Home is where we feel secure. Beautifully written

    • Mirna says:

      Dankie liewe Colette