Thank you Martha! I love the first word-challenge of Viewpoints 9 cycle 4. Home can conjure up so many different images and ideas, it was difficult to settle on just one.
I realized that Home is a place where I feel welcome. That might be my home here in Cheshire, CT or my Mom's in NY or at any of my siblings' homes in the USA. It also includes my home-in-law across the ocean in Croatia. It's a place where I feel relaxed, welcome and able to be myself. A place that is always open to me, for a meal or a place to stay anytime.
When we stay in the Themel home in Croatia, some of my favorite things are the smell of fresh coffee and the sound of my family in the morning. I love waking up and shuffling into the kitchen, knowing I'll be greeted with a warm "Dobro jutro" and that there is a cup waiting for me. Anyone (parents, kids, cousins, neighbors) who happens to be awake will be gathered around the table in the main house, chatting and laughing or just chilling out together.
So I've been thinking of different ways we make others feel welcome in our personal spaces. What are the universal signals for acceptance, friendship? An easy smile, a handshake, an open door, the offering of food or drinks, or just a table full of friendly faces with an empty chair?