Introducing: Home Comforts
personal reflections on the many meanings of 'home.'
Where do you call home?
Is it a place - a country, the one you were born in, maybe, or the one you now live in?
Is it tied not to a physical place but, instead, to a person?
Does it require particular things - a beloved item of furniture or a piece of technology - to feel like home?
Is it, perhaps, some or all or none of the above?
In my lifetime, I’ve called three countries, five flats, two houses, two sofas and one person ‘home’. But home also feels like: a best friend’s bedroom; a well-worn pair of jeans; a favourite meal; the memory of a place you’ve only passed through. I’ve built a home out of songs, books, words, familiar streets. I’ve learnt, as I think many of us do, or are forced to, that home is a shifting thing; that it can move and grow with you.
When I moved from London to rural North Sweden in early 2020, I hoped the experience would push me to reckon with my life-long fear of change and embrace a new idea of home. I threw myself at the markers of settling in: learning the language (an ongoing process), renovating the house (also an ongoing process), growing cherry tomatoes and lettuce and kale in the garden to varying degrees of success. But it was the smallest encounters and experiences - baking Swedish pastries, or spending time in the city on my own - that helped me feel as though I’d set down roots, as though they might have the space and nourishment to expand.
This monthly newsletter will explore the different ways we look for, and find, home; from the small steps we take to settle in somewhere new to the big strides that help us find our place in the world. From the material objects we shelter in to the homes we look for in others, I’ll be writing about the comforts - and discomforts - that make home, home.
If this sounds like a topic you’re interested in, please go ahead and hit subscribe, and share with anyone you think might be interested. I’d love for you to join me!
Nadia Henderson is a London-born writer living in rural North Sweden. Her work often explores themes of nature, motherhood and fear, while sometimes weaving in elements of folklore and magical realism. Nadia is an alumna of For Books’ Sake’s Write Like A Grrrl and Comma Press Short Story courses, and has had her work longlisted by the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and shortlisted by the Cambridge Short Story Prize. Her debut collection of short stories, Tools For Surviving A Storm, was published by Dear Damsels in December 2021.