Do you remember, as a youngster, making your way home on a dark evening after a day out adventuring, and, as you caught sight of your house, glimpsing the amber glow of the standard lamp in your living-room, penetrating the curtains like a beacon to light your way home? Do you recall the sudden surge of renewed energy that infused your weary limbs, egging you on as you realised you'd soon be warm and comfy in familiar surroundings?
So do I! In fact, 33 years ago, after my family had moved to a new house in another neighbourhood, I'd sometimes pass my former domicile on dark nights and trying to recapture that feeling, as I hadn't lived long enough in our new residence to have re-created the experience. I'd see the light emanating from my previous home and imagine for a moment that I still lived there. Then the moment would pass and I'd set course for my new abode some distance away, warmed and fortified by memories of earlier times.
Nowadays, I reminisce fondly about that magical experience whenever I pass one of my former homes on a dusky evening, and as I've said elsewhere before, I sometimes feel that I could wander up the path of any of my previous houses, put my key in the lock, and walk in to find everything just as it used to be. You'll find that it doesn't matter how much you enjoy going out, holidaying abroad, or travelling the world - nothing compares to that sudden electric thrill of recognition on catching that first sight of home and hearth when you return.
Dulce Domum indeed.