Home is knowing. Home is a constant. Home is a never changing familiarity. I can stand on a hill and point to a hundred different stories in each direction. The pathways, the trees, the fields, the clouds. Fixed, but for the seasons.
Home is silence. Home is still. Home is secure isolation. Here, so close to London, so close to Heathrow, sandwiched between A-roads and motorways, there are places where I can still feel alone. Staring out across a still cold landscape, underneath a never-ending sky, not a sound, not a footstep, not a person.
I've lived in the same village for 25 years. Study, work, work, and more work has taken me away, along those same motorways and A-roads. My life, revolving as a satellite around the place I call home, the place I can never be truly detached from.
Change does come though, if not to the place, then to the people. Familiar faces disappear, swept away by the waves of life. At the bar, we still stand, far less often, with far fewer people. Recognition reduces, conversations become more insular. A small group, a clique, hanging on to the past, repeating the same stories and the enjoying reminisced memories.
One day, we'll stop coming here. The pub, most likely. Home, quite possibly. Disappearing like the others to make a life somewhere else. The connecting threads do become fewer. Fewer occasions to return for. Fewer people to return to.
It'll always be here though, this place we called home. Fizzing with memories from our past. The trees, the fields, the clouds, the sky. Instantly recognisable, perfectly familiar, perfectly home.