More and more I am realizing that home is not a place as much as a state of mind, or a state of being. Home can mean being at home with oneself, at one’s physical home whether that be where you spend 90% of your time or 10% of your time, your childhood home, or perhaps home is simply where you feel the most comfortable. A close friend of mine says that home for him is with the person you love and that it really doesn’t matter where that physically might be.
Today, I am writing my blog from a little shop in Amsterdam called Fair+Fair. It is a shop that sells goods for the home that are fairly traded, fairly produced and good for people and the earth. All of the profits are invested in housing the poor.
I am actually sitting at one of the tables that is for sale upstairs, looking out the window and people watching while I eat a slice of apple pie and drink a coffee. You see, Fair + Fair, not only sells beautifully crafted goods, but it also serves snacks and drinks that are “priced fairly because you eat simply”. The store is housed in the basement and first floor of a tiny townhouse. The apartments upstairs are homes for rent and the bottom 2 floors serve as a home-away-from-home for the weary shopper, or in this case, the weary traveler. There is a working kitchen, where today, Nicolein not only totaled up my purchases, but also made me a cappuccino and served me a slice of delicious apple pie. Nicolein explained that the storeowners wanted people to feel at home amongst the things they could purchase for their own home and to provide a reminder of how good it feels to be “at home” and how their purchase helped others to have this feeling.
I chatted with customers who were surprised to see someone eating in the middle of a store, but I just treated them like I would have at my own home and pretty soon we were all chatting like neighbors. When I finished, I automatically took my dishes to the sink, a rule at my home, but Nicolein said she would take care of them for me, which reminded me of my Mom’s house.
They say home is where your heart is, and if that is true, then tomorrow I will be home when my two boys step off the plane for a two-week visit. I look forward to picking them up and going “home.”