The thought of home is one wonderful thrill of excitement, some sense of intense joy kicks in every time someone mentions home. I often hear people say “this place is a home away from home”, but then for me there has never been a place close in comparison. Even though there are some places where you would definitely feel at home, there will always be that little element that sets home apart from other places. One thing I have realised over the years is that it does not matter how dusty or underprivileged one’s home is, so long as there is perfect peace and harmony. It doesn’t have to be comprised of tall golden walls and beautiful gardens in order for it to feel like home, nor does it have to have flashing lights and chandeliers for that matter. It is things money cannot buy that play a huge role in making one’s home into the utopia it is meant to be.

My home was once a war zone and at times I would come home from school to a huge fight between mom and dad. I was in my final year of school and needed to focus as much as I could, but the rife that was reigning in the house was making it hard for me to do so. I had no peace of mind. We were a family of five; I had two siblings and I was the eldest. My parents didn’t have much to their names but made sure that most of our needs were met. They did everything in their power to keep body and soul together and everything was in perfect harmony until my father decided to make booze his best friend. Then everything came crushing down and it got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore, so I decided to leave home. I had to leave in pursuit of peace, home was not making it for me anymore.

I left home in the early hours on a Sunday morning. It was so freezing cold that my skin developed some rash as a protest for warmth but my soul cared less. All it longed for was a different life, peace and serenity. Everything had been too much for me to bare, I wanted to be far away from home for a while and the place in mind was my grandmother’s house. It was about 30km away from my home, I had no money, but I didn’t mind walking that distance for the sake of peace. I decided to take a short-cut so I crossed the river and went into the bush. It reached midday and I was still making my way through tall trees and thorn bushes which at times tore at my soft skin, causing me to bleed, but I endured all that. Scary imaginings of coming across wild animals and cannibals were racing through my head, but I brushed that off especially the cannibals thought because I had never seen one in real life. They were things we were made to believe when we were growing up!

The bush was quiet with no birds in sight. There were no sound of anything promising life but just me, the shadows and those horrible thoughts in mind that sent chills down my spine, oh! What a depressing journey, but my search for a peaceful home kept me going! I walked for hours with no rest, the joints and muscles on my legs were starting to send some signals of fatigue. I paid no attention to that and finally arrived.