Thoughts on Home

An invitation to write about “returning home” from this site:

has inspired me to think more deeply about the issue of “home”. To return home from a journey is, for most people, a comforting conclusion to an experience that leaves you with much to reflect on. That assumes the “home” you return to is a place where that reflection is possible and somewhere you are secure and safe in a supportive environment to enable time for that reflection. In our society, our home is our house but for many it is linked to land. The “house” can move but the connection to home is often expressed through a love of land and, in some cases, a yearning to return. This can be carried through generations and is, I believe part of the issue of disconnection that faces us today, a disconnection from ourselves because we are still trying to find “home”.

I am a direct descendant of a convict who was sent to this country in 1827. I stand as the fourth generation born in this land and each of those generations have made their home in different parts of the country. I have travelled to each of those places, Windsor, Queanbeyan, Beechworth, Albury and have recently been back to my birth town, Molong. I feel a family connection to each of those even though I do not live anywhere near them now. That connection is in my thoughts but in Albury and Molong it is physical as well.

Factory Workers

My Great-Grandfather, the youngest son of the convict sent here in 1827, established a coach-building business in Albury and the building he constructed to house it is today a Motel with a Motelplaque outside bearing his name.

James Carraige works Elm Court Motel Albury (1)

At the Albury Library Museum a collection of tools used by my Great Grandfather at his factory can be seen.Tools James (1)

In Molong, many of my parents artifacts are also housed in the local museum including programs from the local Show, Christmas Carols and sporting events held in the town during the 28 years they lived there. Most importantly, to me is the fact I was born in Molong and spent the first 18 years of my life living in that district. This is my connection and what draws me back sometimes to see the places I remember and feel in my heart. That is why I write in this blog about my journey beginning as it did on the “red road”of Gundawanna.

Just this year I had the opportunity to drive down that road again past the front gate I wrote about in my post on 5th August. The road is now sealed, the gate locked, the track overgrown. No-one uses that entrance to the property anymore, but part of my heritage is still visible. My parents moved away from Gundawanna 40 years ago and it has been owned by at least two or three people since that time, but still today, standing proudly on the post where my Father placed it long ago, is the mailbox with our name emblazoned on it. I was pleased it had been left.IMG_3702

No matter where the house we live in is situated, our home is where we connect. Part of that is our past and it is somehow gratifying to know that physically part of our past stays where we have lived. It gives us the confidence to follow our dreams in life knowing our roots are deep. Now I reflect on who I am knowing that where I have been and where I will go is part of me and secure in the knowledge that I am Home.

18 thoughts on “Thoughts on Home

  1. Hi Jim, This is such an intriguing piece about home. I love how you have a photo of your great-grandfather’s coach factory and the modern day photo of the hotel it has become, as well as a plaque with his name. I also find it interesting that, 40 years after your parents moved from their home in Gundawanna, that mailbox, really showing its age but still emblazoned with your family name, is still standing, despite several owners. It must bring back so many memories to travel there, as well as some bit of sadness to see it all overgrown.

    Thanks so much for writing and sharing this reflective piece. I’m so happy to link it to my next post on returning home on September 3. 🙂


    1. Thanks Cathy. It’s strange that I didn’t really feel any sadness at the over-grown track to my old house. I was actually pleased that nature is taking it back and the memories I had are now preserved by her. That might be an interesting issue to explore in future writing – how the earth takes back the built environment that people make? The cycle of life.


    1. Thanks Lynette. It’s interesting that I find “following my path home”, as you put it, releases me from attachment. I don’t wish to “go back” to anything, I just want to understand it and honour it for what it has made me now. That’s the “cyclical” view of life I often refer to, the ability to view past, present, future as all being within the moment of “now”. Something I like to explore in my writing because I think it is something our society has largely forgotten in it’s attachment to “growth”.


  2. Home is within, it’s our spiritual essence that we carry and helps us to feel comfortable in unknown places! That connection with dwellings or country are deep but real comfort comes from within …


  3. Your fascinating post has set me thinking – I wonder whether the fact of having grown up with a clear knowledge of your history has helped to create your healthy philosophy; that of appreciating the moment, rather than yearning for the past.
    As a matter of interest, have you researched the roots behind your great-great-grandfather’s banishment to Australia?


    1. Thank you Jane. I have only really started seriously researching my family history in the last few years. One of the reasons was the way I was raised without connection to many of my cousins and without a real understanding of my heritage. It was a sense of “disconnection” that started me on this path, so I appreciate your comment about my “healthy philosophy”. I don’t want to get stuck in the past, I aim to heal it in a positive sense.
      I have known the crime my Great Great Grandfather was transported for, he was sent for 14 years for desertion from the army. My Uncle found that out when he first did a family genealogy back in the 1970s, but my Father was disgusted to think he was descended from a deserter! I thought it just showed his intelligence, leaving the army, but then I was anti-war and peace-loving then, and still am. It’s an interesting story I am finding more about as time goes on so I might put some of it up on my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The 1970s were interesting times, when everyone had a strong opinion, largely as a result of the Vietnam war. I was brought up by a father who had been imprisoned for being a conscientious objector and a gentle, peace-loving mother who raised me well.

        I look forward to reading more of your posts, but I’m currently without internet, so I have to visit my daughter and use hers in order to go online.


  4. Interesting thoughts, Jim. Both in your post and in the comments. I’m in the process of selling our present home to move abroad to a house we have owned for many years. Both feel like home to me. It’s not the bricks and mortar but the memories that both contain. 🙂 🙂


    1. Thanks Jo. I’m fascinated by the way our memories link with places. It’s almost as though part of ourself is held there and how part of the place is held in ourself. That sense of connection is something I like to explore in my writing. Enjoy the move to a new environment.


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