The subject of 'home' has raised its head a number of times recently but it was SP's post Home Sweet Home which made me think about it more earnestly than usual. Where is 'home'? For me home is where I am comfortable with myself in my surroundings. That's easy for me to say because I've only lived in six places in my life and three of those were fairly transitory in the early '70s when I married and before we moved to the Outer Hebrides. Except that it's actually seven because now I live in two places: Scotland and New Zealand or, more specifically, Lewis and Napier.
People often ask me which place I'd rather make my permanent home. The answer is that as I don't have to make a choice I don't think about it and as I don't have residency in New Zealand the longest I can stay is 9 months at a time anyway. However I choose to stay 6 months here and 6 months in Scotland (and France and....). I used to say that if someone pulled up the drawbridge I could live happily in either place but most of my closest friends (excepting my NZ 'family') are in the UK (and those in Canada and elsewhere are in neither home country anyway).
Choosing Lewis is not as simple as that of course: old friends have retired away from Lewis; I have made new friends who don't live on Lewis; very important friends still live on Lewis; and my son Gaz is building a house on Lewis. The list of considerations is endless. And there will come a time when I can't gallivant and stay where I wish and see whom I wish and Lewis is a long way from anywhere else.
Some people talk of going back to their roots but I do not know a single person who lives in the city of my birth.
I love Lewis. I love New Zealand. I love Glasgow (Well that's pushing it. I could never live in a city but I enjoy it when I'm there.). I love France. I love Canada. I am happy in the skin that I'm in and I love being wherever I have the privilege to be. I'm lucky because for the moment I can choose.
For that I am thankful....very thankful indeed.