Home for me has been a search for an elusive belonging that has escaped me most of my life. As a woman of the baby boom generation, I left home to compete in a man’s world and I lost my sense of feeling at home in the process. I believe many women of my generation have the same sense of alienation, a darkness that is a background in our psyches. I have studied and written about home, and I’ve thought about it endlessly. It still fascinates and eludes me. I wonder if the same is true for you…
Tales of separation and wandering have been repeated through the ages, the question, “Where is my home?” the plaintive lament of those in exile. The search for home is what makes Dark Nights a spiritual journey, a quest for the ultimate belonging. It may be that we can never achieve the complete sense of home here on earth, but it is a call that follows us throughout our lives, urging us toward wholeness.
For many people, and especially for women, the search for home, for belonging, is a life theme. It is the feminine we have lost, the feeling of being at home, because we are living in a culture and society that is dismissive of our true nature which includes both the feminine and masculine. For men, the patriarchy has perhaps done even more damage, as young men are encouraged to grow up and away from home, separating from their own feminine and their sense of belonging. In the end, men and women are in this together, both deeply influenced by the imbalanced values in our current western culture and the resulting disconnection from being at home in ourselves and in our worlds.
Home, for many of us then, is an Other that we have discarded and must reclaim in order to be whole, to feel grounded, to belong. This is true for us as individuals and it is also true for our planet, our global home. We have denigrated our shared environment and are now looking to the younger generation to lead us in restoring the balance we have lost. The Dark Night journey is this quest for home at both individual and collective levels.
How would you answer the question” Where is my home?” How might you feel in exile?
For more exploration of the concept of home, here are two essays, the first more personal, the second more planetary. And you can find a bibliography here.
Further possibilities for reading, journaling and circling can be found under Home Offerings.