Home Means More Now Than Ever

"Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place in which to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love.”

-Marvin J. Ashton

 

I had only been working for Sustainable a few weeks when LaToya, the owner, asked me what home meant to me.  I had never intentionally or thoughtfully considered that question before. “Home,” up until that point, felt like an address, a physical location, somewhere I returned after completing each day’s to-dos. But as I’ve thought more about that question, I am realizing that my recent experiences are reshaping the way I now understand Home.

Over the years, I moved around quite a bit. I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, but moved to Los Angeles when I was five, and eventually landed in Georgia as an adolescent. I went to college in a small town in North Georgia, and lived there for seven years, before uprooting my life and going to Belo Horizonte, Brazil for two years. Then I came back to The States in August 2019.

It took me a while to get my footing. On top of reverse culture-shock, I was living in the city for the first time and just committed to renting a house with three strangers, two of whom I had never laid eyes on before. In the last five months since returning,  I have grown to love the city of Atlanta, the strangers I agreed to live with have become dear friends, and this house has shown me a new definition of home. These past few days of quarantine, have caused me to slow down and truly ruminate on LaToya’s question.

Marvin J. Ashton says this of home: “Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place in which to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love.”  With the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of us are pivoting and adjusting to a new normal. Many are working from home, others are taking online classes, and some of us are learning to home-school for the first time. As a result, we as a society are spending more time at home than ever. The emotions surrounding these circumstances lie along a broad spectrum. We land somewhere between stressful and unnerving, restful and sweet. This week my home has been a place of story-telling, laughter, dancing, creating, grieving, and rejoicing. As we struggle through the uncertainty of this time, my hope is that our spaces would truly feel like home; now more than ever.

- Ozi

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