“ Going home?” asked the lady sitting next to me in the lounge at Colombo airport.
Thinking of familiar smells and sounds and sights, the warmth of my own bed I said “yes” with a smile. The word home always evokes images of comfort, warmth, familiarity and welcome in my mind.
Then I asked her “ What about you?” and she replied “ I don’t know where home is!”
She is a Palestinian lady who shifted to Jordan when trouble began and now she lives in Dubai. She has all the comforts that money can buy but no real “Home”. I remembered my Lebanese friend in Dubai who once told me that she had decided to shift to Dubai because she had a choice between living at home or living in peace. For the best part of the early years of her life her family had lived in Beirut, moving houses every six months and with the noise of bombshells in the background. She still wakes up at the slightest noise in the night far away from the shellings and so many years later!
Home is something most of us take for granted – where one can be assured of security and unconditional acceptance and where you ‘Belong” as a right. It is a pity that for millions in several parts of the world Home is not safe. And those others who are told that they don’t belong in the only home that their families have known for generations!
How blessed are those of us who have a home – albeit disorganized , dirty and corrupt. But how far away are we from Poet’s vision of Home and love being almost synonymous.
Home and Love
Robert Service
Just Home and Love! the words are small
Four little letters unto each;
And yet you will not find in all
The wide and gracious range of speech
Two more so tenderly complete:
When angels talk in Heaven above,
I'm sure they have no words more sweet
Than Home and Love.

Just Home and Love! it's hard to guess
Which of the two were best to gain;
Home without Love is bitterness;
Love without Home is often pain.
No! each alone will seldom do;
Somehow they travel hand and glove:
If you win one you must have two,
Both Home and Love.
And if you've both, well then I'm sure
You ought to sing the whole day long;
It doesn't matter if you're poor
With these to make divine your song.
And so I praisefully repeat,
When angels talk in Heaven above,
There are no words more simply sweet
Than Home and Love.
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