10 Worthwhile Reminders: Home is the Heart of Life

Last week, Sarah Rae Trover wrote a beautiful post entitled 5 Completely Free Ways Make your House a Home. It reminded me about a quote I read last year that really changed my perspective on my home, specifically on taking care of my home. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that cleaning is not something that I enjoy. I used to procrastinate all household chores until the last possible second. (As in, ten minutes before someone came over.) Then I read this quote from a book called "Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy" that was given to me by my sister-in-law:

Time to dust again. Time to caress my house, to stroke all its surfaces. I want to think of it as a kind of lovemaking ...the chance to appreciate by touch what I live with and cherish.

-Gunilla Norris

Reading that quote made me decide that I was going to stop dreading household work. Instead, I was going to try to see it as taking care of my home, taking time to cherish the things that I have, and taking time to be thankful for all of the experiences and memories that are expressed in my home. Lovemaking might be a bit of a stretch, but I began to see taking care of my home in a new light. Folding laundry, cleaning the kitchen counter, and unloading the dishwasher became just as important in caring for my family as tucking my kids in or giving them a much-needed hug.

The quote also reminded me that homes are like precious family members that need to be cared for, loved, and appreciated. It reminded me that homes are not bound by the walls that hold them together, and that they are filled with memories, love, and joy. It reminded me that homes are our sanctuaries, our places of refuge, of solace, and of peace. I took a look around to find some other quotes that evoke the same feelings of love and care for the home.

Here are 10 beautiful quotes to help remind us of the true value of the meaning of the word home.

1. "The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." - Maya Angelou

I love this definition of the word home. . ."the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." Our homes take us in at our best, at our worst, and everywhere in between. Even as an adult, I still feel that ache for home. There is nothing better than climbing into your own bed, in your own home when you are physically or mentally exhausted.

2. "Home is where one starts from." -T. S. Eliot

Home is our starting point. Most of our first experiences happen at home. First laugh. First steps. First words. In our homes we build relationships and skills that will deeply affect us for the rest of our lives. Home is the beginning; it is where we start (or re-start.)

3. "There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort." - Jane Austen

When you are tired, run-down, sad, lonely, sick, or just plain burnt out… is there anything better than staying at home? There is something about the walls of your own home; they seem to just reach down and give you a big hug, and tell you that everything is going to be all right.

4. "Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts." -Oliver Wendell Holmes

I love this quote because it reminds me of all of the homes (not just my own) where I have loved, been loved, and feel at home. My maternal grandparents' apartment. The house I grew up in. The house my grandmother lived in for 50 years but sold to move to Florida. The love in those places was significant and even an image or a brief thought about them makes me feel better.

5. "Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than any magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration." -Charles Dickens

There is, I think, something magical about home. Whether you are a kid finding the best places to hide your Star Wars collection, or an adult putting the key into the lock after a long day, there is something about coming home that is somewhat magical. You walk in the door and things feel a little bit lighter. You settle into your favorite chair for the night and your home embraces you; it makes you feel supported, taken care of, and at peace.

6. "Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest" - Robert Montgomery

"The spot of earth supremely blest". . .what a great description. By gathering with our friends or family, and building up a collection of cherished memories and experiences, we bless the space around our homes. We create a space that is powerful - one that can carry us through anything.

7. "Where is home? Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart's tears can dry at their own pace." - Vernon Baker

Home is where we can truly be ourselves. Where we don't have to hide anything about who we are, how we are feeling or what we are thinking. I love the expression of letting the "heart's tears...dry at their own pace." Home is where we can put down the roles that we sometimes play and just let everything go.

8. "We shape our dwellings, and afterwards, our dwellings shape us." - Winston Churchill

I think this quote really sums up the significance of building a home that is healthy and happy, in aesthetics but more importantly, in spirit. A home that is comfortable, beautiful and full of love. When you are surrounded by those things, positive feelings seem to manifest themselves.

9. "Home is the heart of life... Home is where we feel at ease, where we belong, where we can create surroundings that reflect our tastes and pleasures... Making a home is a form of creativity open to everyone." - Terence Conran

The art of making a home. No insignificant task. I love this idea of the art form of making a home. More than making a place that is pleasant to the eye, it is also about making a place that is a representation of who we are and what we love. An art that is open to everyone.

10. "There is room in the smallest cottage for a happy loving pair." - Johann Friedrich Von Schiller

Small in size, but vast in heart. I think we have seen many of these homes on Apartment Therapy over the years. Homes with character and love that emanate from their beautiful photos. Thank you, Apartment Therapy readers, for sharing your homes with us over the years. For by doing so, you have also been brave enough to share your hearts.

Image: Juan Enriquez/Beatrice & Ramsey's Cultured Echo Park Casa

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