Home from Home

Where we love is home. Home that our feet may leave but not our hearts. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Last June, my husband surprised us with a bargain holiday to the part of Greece where I used to live and work. We still have friends and godfamily there, and this is one of our favourite restaurants, a place that always whispers Welcome home… whenever I arrive.

I love listening to the waves lapping – sometimes crashing – against the rocks below. When my son was a wee boy, one of the waiters showed him how to scatter breadcrumbs to attract shoals of fish and catch them with a simple line.

That same evening, he carried my son’s only ‘catch’ out to us on a platter, fried, garnished and served with salad; it made a wee boy beam with pride.

From baby food to beer, crayoning books to iPhones, those rickety wooden tables have seen our lives unfold…

We ate there with close friends last summer, and our tall, handsome sons, once babies sleeping in pushchairs, were drinking beer, talking politics and swapping tales of university. As the sun set coral pink and mauve and a warm breeze stirred, I sat for a moment, smiling, just taking it all in, the memories ebbing and flowing like the waves below.

The restaurant has changed over the years, but the view stays the same, wrapping thirty two years of friendship, love and family in its eternal embrace.

Do you have a special place that always makes you feel like you’ve come home, no matter how long you’ve been away?

*I finally managed to retrieve and upload photos from the holiday, so, as promised last year, I’ll post a few this week. Better late than never!

10 thoughts on “Home from Home

  1. Hello Janice,
    This post has really resonated with me. ‘Home that our feet may leave but not our hearts.’ I live in Australia now, have done for more than half of my life, but my heart has become adept at dividing itself into fragments. This used to be a difficult thing, but it is becoming easier and more pleasurable as I realise how lucky I am. I love your descriptions and memories (and photos!) of your boys as they’ve grown and changed and somehow stayed the same.

    • Thanks Jane! It’s lovely to see you; I enjoy your company over at Joanna’s creative ‘home’ and the gorgeous photos over at yours – the wildlife, the birds, a glimpse of nature that’s wonderfully alien to me, like exotic snakes turning up in domestic places! I can feel the longing in your voice sometimes when Joanna shares a photo of something quintessentially British or beautifully captures the essence of liminality, of the blurred and merging borders of things.

      I empathise so much with your feeling of having two homes, the UK and Australia. Our first homes have such potent magic – they’re where we first become, where we daydream, play, learn to love and to launch our lives.

      Maybe your blog even makes you feel like you have three homes… and if you’re like me, there are some old familiar blogs I love visiting where I feel so at home, I should keep a pair of slippers at the door. That’s one of the things I love about blogging – our blogsites, at best, are like portable homes, rafts all tied together to unite us into one big Ellis Island.

      • Dear Janice, you are a thinker and a communicator in the best possible way. I wish I could be so outward looking, so focused on the other person. It’s a gift you have ~ to be able to put yourself in another’s shoes. What you say about having another home in your/my blog is, when I come to think of it, so true. It’s a place where I have total control, unusual indeed! It’s lovely to be connected both here and on Joanna’s thought-provoking blog. bye for now, Jane
        Jane recently posted…Starting out once again…..My Profile

        • Thanks, Jane. I had a wee think about what you said about me being focused on “the other person” and it brought me back to the idea of blog as home. The comments boxes are a huge part of what I love doing, the connection you speak of; they’re like my kitchen where I love connecting with folk, or a wee bistro where I enjoy getting to know everyone, whether they come just to read, have a coffee or to chat with me or the others here. My real kitchen’s also the place full of colour, art, music, photos, fragrance and flowers. I have to tone things down in the living room cause of menfolk! 😉 When I write, though, I have to be alone or in a café surrounded by strangers; I’m a grump bag if I get interrupted on a thought!

  2. OH. WOW!!! I want to go there!! I’ve never to Greece, but your photos make me want to visit. I loved reading this post. It’s a very calming and reflective post. In answer to your question….

    My favorite local place to visit is a place Cape San Blas, a beach near us. It has snowy white sand…so much so that I took a picture of the sand once and got lots of comments about the “snow.”:~) My soul place is the beach without a doubt.

    As far as places in the world, I don’t have lots of travel experience, but I would pick Switzerland, which I happened to have visited several times. The school my husband worked for (he’s now retired) had an away program there and we got to stay in beautiful village, Leysin, which is French speaking part of Switzerland. Everywhere you turned was a photo opportunity!!

    So, glad to arrive her and find not only a new post, but lovely pictures.
    Sara recently posted…Help for HealingMy Profile

    • Hi Sara,
      I think you’d love Greece! I saw the posts you did in Switzerland, the café life and outdoor living and I think you’d enjoy the outdoor living in Greece, too. I know you’d wear out your camera with the beauty of it all. There’s something about the place that makes you forget anywhere else, a quality to the light that does slow you down and make you contemplative. Melancholy’s not out of place there, either; the Greeks even have a selection of words meaning soul pain. I felt I’d come home the first day I arrived and my Greek was fluent within the first year. I wrote my best haiku and lyrics there, too. Greek’s a beautiful language.

      You’ll have to point me to the post about your snowy white sandy beach – I’d love to see it! Is it close to your home? I feel most at home near the sea, too, but I’m awkward; I like to have green hills or mountains behind me and a big sweeping bay in front of me. I’m currently living surrounded by hills, about as far away from the sea as you can get in Scotland, but as it’s a teeny country, I suppose distance is relative. Like I mentioned on your penultimate post, I often take my dad to my childhood beach, and I can get there via my dad’s in about an hour.

      Thank you for popping over! I never take it for granted. I hope you enjoy the next batch of Greek photos that were taken to share with you all last summer. The more I practise, the better I’ll get at uploading!

  3. Hi Janice … love your Greek home – looks amazing and obviously you still have lots of connections there – wonderful stories here. I’d go to Cornwall – except interestingly I need to start again as the contacts have sadly gone – but that’s where my heart is drawn here in the UK … and out to Southern Africa at other times …

    Now all I can think of .. is a beach, fresh fish, lovely salads, and vino … and some sun – as today is a rainy one … still rain brings life … have a lovely weekend – Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…ABCs of Dictionaries …My Profile

    • Hi Hilary. Good to see you! I was a wee bit worried about the gap on your blog since the last posting; it’s not like you. Hope you’re getting better and more nimble every day. Bummer about the rain cause I’m guessing you’re out walking as much as you can every day to build up your strength.

      Such a global collection of ‘heart homes’ represented today – Greece, the USA, Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, Cornwall… the sea and sun beckoning us to heal ourselves, to warm our bones and bask in the kind of light and air that bleaches the soul bare… If I were you, I’d go to Cornwall as a treat when your hip heals – you make new friends wherever you go and you could post from there! 😉 I loved your sea ABC’s last year…or was it the year before? I’m such a Rip Van Winkle.

      Off you go and make yourself a Mediterranean tea – heavy on the wine! You have a good weekend, too.

  4. So glad you’re back (only found out recently)! I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog. Most bloggers have gone the way of Facebook and Instagram. I’m still blogging myself because I love to write and it helps me remember all the good things in life, so I hope the blogging space stays around. The websites I’ve written for had shuttered the last two years.

    This post on Greece is so beautiful! May I ask which island is this? I took a Med cruise from Athens to Istanbul almost 16 years ago. Although I like Athens, I love Istanbul. The cruise stopped at Rhodes and Crete (original port-of-call was Santorini, which was my preference). I’ve heard great reviews about other islands and would love to visit again.
    E. Thai recently posted…Now You See It, Now You Don’tMy Profile

    • Hi there! Thank you for taking the time to comment and for letting me know you’re a reader from the early days; I really appreciate it. It’s always exciting to have a new voice in the boxes but folk who’ve been blogging for a few years seem to understand my determination to keep going at a pace I’m happy with and in a way that still feels authentic to me.

      I recently went back on Twitter to see if I could experiment with a different kind of connection there – I do write haiku so you’d think I might manage the 140 characters 😉 – but blogging’s the format I prefer. The big social media sites have a lot to offer, but I get brain fry and overwhelm very easily, which usually results in me logging off for months – sometimes years at a time. To be honest, I also like playing around with my theme and WordPress; when nothing goes wrong, it’s fun and good learning which keeps my shrinking brain challenged!

      If you like sailing around islands that resemble the coastline in my Glimpses of Greece post, then try Skiathos and Skopelos in the Sporades. They’re beautifully green! That’s where they filmed Mamma Mia and I embarrassed my daughter by shrieking in the cinema the first time I saw the film because I recognised a lot of the places!

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