A home is something desperately needed by all human beings. What is a home? No uniform definition is possible here. To most it is a place where they feel comfortable, needed and protected. It is weird to think how much we, civilized beings, are still in need of a close link to a definite place, probably exhibiting the rest of our old-time territoriality. Singles can carelessly drift from one place to another; married couples feel in many ways deficient if they cannot offer their children a permanent place to live in. My needs for a home are in many ways typical of today’s youth.
I dream of a cozy house, not a large one, situated somewhere close to the forest or river. I would not want to own the ostentatious beachfront property, but something modest and dignified and remote from major roads or crowded places. The reason for a solitary residence is my desire to feel the connection to the world Linda Hogan so beautifully described as “a nest on its humble tilt, in the maze of the universe, holding us” (Hogan, 431). This does not mean that I plan to live like a hermit in the woods where civilization does not reach.
No, I would like to have neighbors, quiet people like myself, but a contact with people should not be the only one. I also want to see and feel animals, birds, trees, shrubs and grass, all living an exciting and intricate cobweb of lives around me. This need chimes in with Linda Hogan’s description of her world, her taste for interaction with all living creatures inhabiting it. Living in proximity to nature would give me a feeling of being “right in the world” (Hogan, 429), a sense of belonging. Another great need I have for a house is to feel safe and protected.
Linda Hogan talks about her need for safety in the passage where she describes her emotions related to her home built above underground currents, where “underground movement of water” served as a “constant reminder of other life” ” (Hogan, 429). I do not need my safety to be embodied in the underground water – it is a more general concept. To me safety would probably be felt in a quiet neighborhood, friendly neighbors, and a solid house erected on a strong foundation. There should also be a general feeling of comfort and relaxation sensed in the rooms, in the yard, garden, and around the house.
That is why I long for a natural environment so much; it would help to restore the feeling of the things that are important and those that are not, removing the stressfulness that is generated by minute though urgent problems. I believe that the feeling of safety is not produced by a house – it should be in the person, and the house can only create an atmosphere that will remove the aura of nervousness. Safety is brought about by stability in one’s life, the conviction that it is built on a solid foundation, connection to values and ideas that will not go away in the future and will continue to render cohesion to one’s life.
My house has to become the embodiment of these values, a place that can help me remain constant in my life direction and give me a sentiment of a safe haven that can protect me from temporary problems. My home, as I mentioned, is still a dream. I am happy with the place I live in now, it is enough for a young adventurous person I am now and quite good for the age when communication with peers matters more than a place to live in.
The dream I described will have to be realized later in life, when I have the resources needed for this purpose. It can very well happen that my plans and aspirations undergo a change by that time, and life will teach me that my needs are in fact different, only I did not recognize them up to a certain point. However, I believe this scenario to be unlikely. I will probably still harbor a dream of a place that will open a window to nature and harbor me in a cozy and protective environment.
Observing adults advanced in years, I have often been stunned to see how persistent childhood dreams remain with many people, especially those that failed to be realized earlier in life. Thus, like a person who lived in a cage in Linda Hogan’s story but decided to upgrade his dwelling through air conditioning, I will probably try to make changes in my place, but the ultimate goal will remain unchanged – a safe place where I can feel myself, relax and enjoy the comforts of life. Bibliography Hogan, Linda. Dwellings.