No matter where I live in the world – no matter where, or how widely, I travel – I look back with the fond, warm memories of times spent at home.
But where is home? Everyone’s is different, unique. My home – the place I know in my heart as home – is a village on a hill, to the north of the once world renown “Steel City” Sheffield. Grenoside – the village – was where I was born and brought up as a child, went to school, played in the woods, had my teenage years, matured into manhood (some would say badly…), married and started a family. It was my home, is my home and always will be – even though it’s 30 years since I left there to live in New Zealand.
There are endless quotes concerning the subject of “Home” and what a home is. Here are a few.
“Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong, and laughter never ends.”
“A house is made of bricks and beams. A home is made of hopes and dreams.”
“Home is not a place…it’s a feeling.”
And of course….. “There’s no place like home.”
There are however two more quotes that ring most true to me personally. They both say how I feel about my village, my home, my Grenoside.
“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.”
That last one is very true. When I first left home in 1986 , backpack on my back to travel the world for a year, I couldn’t wait to get away. Now approaching 60 years of age I only have to think of my childhood – carefree days happily spent in the woods – and warm tears of gratitude slip down my cheeks.
I returned to my home in 2016 for a visit only and to return my parents, who had died in New Zealand, to their home….to scatter their ashes in the woodland – where we all used to walk together. A place of happy memories, of quiet reflection…birdsong and bluebells….leaves gently rustling in the breeze, and dappled light on sandy footpaths. I scattered their ashes in the woods, just as my father had with his parents ashes decades earlier. My wish is for my sons to do the same for me. I’ll be home again, once more, with my family and my ancestors – at peace.