Tied by blood or chosen by the heart, the varied concepts of family and home have been explored since the first family. Families tied by blood can provide a foundation beyond genetics to one of shared heritage and history. But chosen family arrives via emotional strings that link hearts, tying people together through laughs over meals, walks through a park and listening to heartache.
Either family brings us home.
For some, as musician John Denver sang, they’ve come home to a place they’ve never seen before, while others find comfort in the community where they know every crack in the sidewalk and person who passes in a car. For others, home is a person. Wherever they may roam, with that person by their side, there haven is. Whatever brings us that feeling of home, it helps us to understand who we are and who we want to be.
Many of you found home on one of the campuses that stretch across this state and create the University of Tennessee. You encountered space and people who allowed your soul and intellect to expand, to breathe, to connect. Each time you read Our Tennessee, we hope it brings you back.
In this issue, we look at home and family, with how happy couples approach conflict, living in a tiny home and how one man changed his definition of family. Along the way, we’re exploring 4-H’s impact on Tennessee families, how one faculty member examines the concept of home through placemaking, and students who help build homes for others.
Welcome home. We’re glad you’re part of the UT family.