FROM THE EDITOR:
Travel anywhere this time of year, and chances are you’ll encounter delays of one sort or another. Occasionally, these delays present opportunities to engage in conversation with a fellow traveler heading somewhere toward family. Most of the time that somewhere is a place referred to as “home.” In those brief conversations, the inevitable question then becomes, “Where’s home for you?” Random answers ensue: “Well, I live in such-and-such city, but I grew up in wherever, and my parents now live in fill-in-the-blank, so that’s where I’m headed.”
References to home during this season aren’t confined to small talk in airports and rail stations. Listen to almost any compilation of holiday melodies and you’ll find lyrics centered around the universal ground-zero of the idea of home. As the wistful and sometimes melancholy songs have formed the backdrop to the weeks leading up to Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve, our thoughts and discussions at Folie have turned to a new question. Rather than asking, “Where is home?” we’re now asking “What makes it home for you?” Top-of-mind answers to this shift in perspective run the gamut from enjoying traditional food favorites, to seeing treasured family decorations handed down from one generation to another, to sharing adventures such as caroling or decorating together, even standing under the mistletoe with a loved one.
For many of us, however, memories of home don’t come wrapped in warm feelings of security and love. Sometimes the reality is exactly the opposite. Even the most caring and grounded among us experience the stress of unrealistic holiday expectations and reunions that can touch on old wounds and resentments. The result — hollowness versus a sense of completion, sadness encroaching on joy. But what if our truest heart’s home isn’t tied to a specific place, person, tradition, or even a memory? What if it’s actually been with us all the while. One of the most profound gifts during any holiday season can be to simply find the stillness deep within each of us — the part of us that’s often overlooked, the quiet inner voice often drowned out by external demands, the peace of knowing what it means to be “at home in ones own skin,” no matter where we are.
I believe that the ability to find that inner stillness, that home within us, can lead to surprising new richness in life. Through the years, many of us have come to redefine our concepts of home and family. What a joy to realize that family consists of those dear ones who hold our hearts within theirs, whether we share the same family name, background or skin color. When we’re together we’re truly home.
Of the many songs written about home and the holidays, one of my favorites captures that idea in an especially poetic and memorable way. It’s “Celebrate Me Home,” by Kenny Loggins.
“Home for the holidays,
I believe I’ve missed each and every face,
Come on and play my music,
Let’s turn on every love light in the place.
It’s time I found myself
Totally surrounded in your circles,
Whoa, my friends
Please, celebrate me home,
Play me one more song that I’ll always remember,
I can recall whenever I find myself too all alone…
Sing me home.”
Happiest Holidays, everyone!