A home is a safe harbor, a port in the storm; it is somewhere that you can go to without question and always feel safe and secure.
Traveling for a month now, I realize the importance of having a home, of having a place to come back to where everything is in its place, where you can kick off your shoes and truly relax. Hotels just don't give that kind of satisfaction.
Thinking about my grandmother's home in Graffigny-Chemin, makes me understand that a home is more than a house. A home is about the people who live there. People give a home meaning and substance. Without the family that lives in the home, any house, my grandmother's house becomes some else's home.
So, that when Pim and Aria, the Dutch couple who showed me my grandmother's home, I felt the interloper, looking at rooms, walls, and furniture that were not my grandmother's. It was an empty feeling. There is no way to reconnect with the past, with my grandparents who have long since past.
There were images that came to mind as I walked the grounds - my grandmother when she was alive in North Carolina had always kept a garden with irises, a grape trellis, and a fig tree; and there in Graffigny was a garden. It had flower beds, a spring, a fig tree, a trellis. These were all things that my grandmother brought with her in her mind when she emigrated to North Carolina. She recreated many of the memories of her French home in her new house.