Querencia (adjective) Origin: Spanish | que·ren·cia A place where one feels safe, A place where one feels at home.
When I was a baby, I was afraid of everything and everyone. It didn’t matter who was around. It didn’t matter what I was doing. I was just afraid. Even if I didn’t look like it, I was. Mom and dad would tell me stories of how I would jump at everything. I would scream and cry at the introduction of everything new. When I look at my baby picture, I just wonder what the heck was going on in my little pea brain. I wonder why I was so afraid.
At some point in my life, that all changed and for the most part I have felt safe and at home pretty much where ever I happened to be. It didn’t matter who was around. It didn’t matter what I was doing. When I saw this word, I had to really think about what Querencia currently means to me. At first I thought to myself, I feel pretty confident where ever I am and in pretty much every situation.
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
However, when I re-read the actual definition, “A place where one feels safe. A place where one feels at home.” I had to seriously ask myself where that place is. I could not, off the top of my head really say that I felt that there was an actual place where that would be true. These days, I feel slightly more restless and not very safe.
I started going through some old photos and it was strange. Years ago, I would have said that this place existed when I was with my children. I did my best to make their lives safe and comfortable. They were babies and I was their mom, their protector. I’m not sure that would be my answer right now. Kids grow up, things change. Life happens. Drama ensues. I hope one day I can go back to that feeling. There will always be love, but it hasn’t felt like home for some time.
Even before kids, I would have said it was when I was around my younger sister. We did everything together. I trusted her to be my solid. My one bestie that I could always depend on. I think that has also changed. Life happens. Emotions held back, words left unsaid hanging in the air. Doubts and fears and who knows what. But it changes. I hope that one day I can go back to that feeling. There will always be love, but it also has not felt like home for some time.
I have some special friends that always make me feel safe and comfortable. But at home? We are always so busy that we can’t always make the time. I always feel good when I am around them but the times around them are so short and so far apart that the home piece is missing. It’s because I live so far away. The relationship building is hard to do so far away. I have some friends that I connect with frequently and when we come together, no matter how long we have been apart, it feels like home and it feels safe. It’s just the darn suitcases that remind me that I’m not really home.
But then, I came across some pictures of my older sister. Even though we didn’t hang out much when we were little and we fought like cats and dogs as we grew, she was always my protector when I really needed her. She has been consistent and the same our entire lives. She has opened her house to me and visited me when I was down, picked me up from teen heartbreak, joined the Navy like I had, raised kids like I had, and so many other things. She’s the one to placate a situation. She’s the peacemaker. She will make me laugh when I go over the ledge rather than help me jump. I don’t like getting all stressed and down and she doesn’t let me feel sorry for myself but she does it in a way that is kind. She never tries to over-analyze every situation I need to talk about. She lets me flow and grow and feel safe. She’s much better at it than I am. I feel safe, unjudged, and familiar when I am around her. I love her for this. I feel safe around her for this. I feel at home around her for this. Thanks sis.