What Means Home to You?


From age six to twelve I lived in Anchorage, Alaska. The Big Dipper was the first constellation I ever found and is very bright and easy to find in Alaska. When we moved from Anchorage to Walnut Creek, CA I went out night after night looking for the Big Dipper. It took a week or so, but once I found it, I felt settled and at home. I don’t know why my twelve-year-old self decided that a group of stars signified so much to me, but there you have it, and it stuck.

When I moved to Tucson, AZ it took three months before I was able to find the Big Dipper in the night sky, and the minute I did something within me relaxed. I was home now.

When ever I see the Big Dipper in the sky I smile and know I’m home. I haven’t moved since coming to Tucson, and I have to wonder if I moved now as an adult would I still look to the sky desperately searching for a group of stars to let me know that I am home?
Do you have anything that you need to have to feel at home?

20 responses »

  1. I spent the first twenty four years of my life not knowing what home felt like. I could not take that deep breath because I always had to be “on”. I had to fit somebody else’s image of who I should be, and who I really was got me labled and often shunned. I did not fit the mold, therefore there must be something wrong with me. Ten years ago, I found home. For the first time in my life I found peace in my soul. What defines home? Acceptance. People may not approve or understand who and what I am, but that accept that it is me. They don’t put labels on me unless I claim the label. They may wonder, but they don’t presume to know.

    • Charis- I am so glad you have found home for yourself and acceptance. It’s funny I’ve actually had to deal with label and fitting in more as an adult then as a kid- even in high school. Keeping balanced within myself has been a huge challenge.

  2. I love this story. I would be very cool as an integral part of a character. As a kid, we moved around a bit – Washington, D.C. to Virginia, to Oakland, CA, back to D.C. and Virginia. I went to 5 elementary schools before we settled down.

    Nothing ever made me feel like home; however, I was close to my mom. As long as she was there, I was good.

    • Thanks Bill- I never thought of using it before, but it would be a interesting show of character. I use to live in Walnut Creek CA- on the other side of the tunnel- you know the yuppie people.
      Both of my parents were with me for most of the moves- they separated when I was 16 but it was odd how I looked to those stars more then them, even tho they were there for me.

  3. Those pictures are beautiful! I love Alaska – went for vacation once, would love to go back sometime. I’ve never lived outside of Ohio, so it’s hard to imagine feeling at home without distinct seasons or highly variable weather in March/April!

  4. home… for me it is being with my people. honestly though when we moved from oregon to az when i was 13 i didn’t feel home at all until i met mike. now, it is where ever we are. i feel at home in this rental, when we lived in tucson, or both places in maine… all home because we were together. 🙂

  5. I like your story about the Big Dipper! I guess I don’t have any tangible way of feeling at home. I’ve moved many times and have always felt at home wherever I am. I also feel “at home” when I’m at the dojo or other places where I feel or have felt a strong sense of community. Maybe I carry home around inside of myself!

  6. Hi Alica! I love how you gage you happiness more from the universe than where you stand on this earth. Interesting that you can always count on those beautiful stars and galaxies to be right there where they were placed. Hmm. Anyway, I am familiar with Tucson. I lived in North Phoenix for almost twenty years until last year when my husband and I moved back to SoCal. We left our two grown sons there along with other family. But there are some amazing areas in Tucson. I always liked that it had the feel of a small city and how the mountains surrounded it. And talk about seeing stars at night. Wow, can you ever see the stars! I love Arizona, but I don’t miss the heat. I did enough heat to last me for a long time. Do tell me, how is Tucson doing? And do you like living there? Great post! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Hey Karen! I like Tucson a lot being a College town it has so many things going on! I’m always surprised when I talk to my sister who lives in Philly and tell her about some fun event and she says she wishes there was something like that near her.
      Of course in the summer I would dearly love to escape the heat.

  7. I feel more at home with the sound of an ocean. I grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, and although the beach was a 30-minute drive away, it was always there within reach. I lived in West Texas, Central Texas, and New Mexico for a while, but when I returned to the Houston area, I could once again drive 30 minutes and hear the waves rushing onto the sand and the gulls squawking overhead. Home.

    Nice, Alica.

  8. What a beautifully simple, heartfelt post, Alica. I have four Holly Hobby dolls that I moved from my childhood home to our first apartment to our second apartment to the home where we now live. I cannot imagine giving them away. They need to come with me. Not sure why.

  9. Other than my parents’ house, I’ve never felt more home than I do in LA. And I’ve never felt more at home in LA than I have with my hubby. Throw in our pets and most any place works. 😉 Great post!

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