Home. If you can indulge yourself long enough to access the images conjured by that word, what do you see? How does it feel? Who is there? If you did not pause to participate in this mental exercise, indulge me dear reader and start over.
Whether you’ve only just done this for the first time or you’re addicted to these kinds of visions as I am, you understand why I am writing.
Now, add to your daydreaming, the word place. Place expresses the unique character of a location. In other words, a place is not a place on a map alone. And our places are not places without people; subjects. If you want much more eloquent expressions of this read some of the work of Wendell Berry, Wallace Stegner, or Wes Jackson. You will not have to go far to find the stirring of home in their work.
Our lives are full of pursuits but none more valuable than pursuing home. I learn in pursuing home that I am important but only in relationship with those who share my subjectivity and are subjects. This is not about sorting the good from the bad in our homes or a road map to the good home. The value judgement here is simply that we should be present in our home. We all sort the good from the bad, the change from the status quo, in different ways. I am confident there are many more people doing it better and more consistently than I. That’s one reason, among many, this is an everyman’s treatise rather than an expert’s report.
This is an ode to home that only I can write about my own and only you can interpret about yours. It is a call to put your hands in the soil, to walk with your children, to hold your wife’s hand, to move beyond divided living and become a family. It is an invitation.
The Homeplace exists to say that home matters. Home is not simply a pursuit among pursuits but the preoccupation of belonging. The connection between the home, its subjects, and its fruit is why we farm. The Homeplace Farm.