Home. Something I am faced with every day. Now more so than ever. The Stoics shunned home as a place we were bound to get too comfortable. Their secret to happiness was the cultivation of a virtuous mental state; the only place where we could truly come home. Living like a Stoic meant you had little to no interest in the material luxuries of life.
A good practice, for sure. But now most of us are home all day, it seems of little use. Although there is a little voice inside me that says, “Come on now, strap on that backpack, drop everything and disappear into nature for a while.” A romantic thought, and somehow misplaced. I don’t know why.
I came across some words of Alain de Botton. He believes creating a meaningful environment for ourselves is a deeply human need. Our homes are pillars of our identity, who we once were and who we want to become. Especially in uncertain times, we look for beauty and harmony at home to compensate for our vulnerability. This makes us feel safe and comforted.
In my Autumn retreats, I speak about the concept of home. Autumn is a natural time to reflect, consolidate and let go of things we no longer need. It seems most of us started this process earlier this year, myself included. I look around my room. Persian carpets. A hand-painted classic teapot. A piece of wood from the old willow by the river… What will I have learned when I come out of my home again?