The Comforts of Home

Erin and me outside the Wisconsin cabin

After a week in the woods, I felt more at home in a friend’s cabin in northwest Wisconsin than I do at my shared apartment in Minneapolis, where I’ve lived for more than a year. I don’t view “home” as a physical concept. I feel at home anywhere I have an emotional or spiritual connection or where I’m with people I care about.

I felt at home in the cabin because of the peacefulness of the woods and the generosity of the couple who offered it to me. I felt even more at home there the last two days of my eleven-day stay because my daughter Erin drove up to walk the nature trail with me and spend time together.

I feel at home wherever I am if my daughter is with me. Or my mom. Or my closest friends. I feel at home at Ecopolitan, my home away from home where I often work on my laptop, because of the healthy food and the relationships I’ve built with employees and customers.

I feel at home in Encinitas, California, not only because of its natural beauty and ocean views, but because Paramahansa Yogananda‘s presence permeates the entire town. Likewise, when I first read Yogananda’s book, Autobiography of a Yogi, I felt like I had at long last come home.

All my life I had felt at home in Ortonville, Minnesota, where my dad grew up and where my family always went for vacations and holidays. But Ortonville no longer feels like home; the houses, the storefronts, the special childhood places I remember are still there, but it feels like a ghost town now because virtually all the people I knew there are gone.

My lifelong buddy Kerri and I enjoy lunch together at my house

My old neighborhood in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, where I grew up and lived until we moved away after seventh grade, no longer feels like home. I recently walked the streets there with Kerri, my childhood neighbor and lifelong friend, and it too seemed like a ghost town.

The people now living in Ortonville and White Bear Lake call those places home like I once did. To them, these places are bursting with life, but to me they now exist only in the swirling mists of memory. It is not buildings and landmarks that make a place feel like home, but the people who live there, or lived there.

Home is not a place where I eat and sleep and store my possessions. Home is a state of mind. Home is where I feel loved.

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8 Responses to “The Comforts of Home”

  1. Angelina Says:


    I totally agree, home is where the heart is. We are fortunate to have places that we feel safe and embraced by the love of people we consider family.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    You are absolutely right, Angelina. Thank you for weighing in.

  3. Serena Says:

    Beautiful post and pictures! After reading this I like to think of ourselves as turtles, in that we carry “home” with us wherever we go. :)

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I like it, Serena! And turtles are on of my favorite animals!

  5. Anil Bhatnagar Says:

    This one really touched (or should I say, ‘stole’) my heart. You are a great human being Phil. I am proud of having you in my life.

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you for the kind words, Anil. Very much appreciated.

  7. Kerri (Knox) Luecke Says:

    I had several different homes today, I woke up and gave my husband a hug before he went off to work and I straightened up the kitchen in my home. I was at home in the Mall of America today as I shopped and dined with a dear friend whom I seldom see anymore. I was at home at my daughter’s dorm room at Bethel when my friend and I stopped in for a quick visit and there was my daughter greeting me at the door with a hug. I am at home yet again this evening as I snuggle in my warm slippers and type a message to a dear and lifelong friend. It is wonderful having so many homes! The picture you have of the two of us Kippy…CUTE. My house was next door, but at the moment that the picture was taken…my home was with you…thanks dear friend. :o)

  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Wonderful to hear from you, Kerri. And it’s wonderful having you for a lifetime friend!

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