Back home...

After a week of being with family - sharing tears and laughter, prayers, grief and hope - today it was a blessing to simply be back in our home. Home is such a paradoxical place, don't you think? A place of rest - and work. A center for solitude but also a place for entertainment and hospitality, too. A refuge that is uniquely our own that is also shared by friends, neighbors, children and the extended family - to say nothing of the photographs, art work and icons of ages past.

Maya Angelou has said, that "I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself." And while I affirm this truth, I also know that there is something unique and restful about being in MY home - and my bed - and my writing room, yes? Home is where you can scratch where it itches said someone far smarter than me - or maybe U2 got it right in "Walk On."

Home...hard to know what it is if you never had one
Home...I can't say where it is but I know I'm going home
That's where the heart is
I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on
Leave it behind
You've got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
All that you scheme...

At the same time, I know that for me home is a place of rest and renewal: I get so worn out being an introvert doing ministry. Don't get me wrong, I love ministry - the people, the challenges and all the rest - but man does it wear me out! So, home is a retreat for me, a place filled with quiet - and music - books and poetry and art.

Home is also a place where my loved ones can gather from time to time to encourage and nourish one another. Today, Dianne dug in the garden getting the soil ready for peas and pumpkins, tomato seedlings and herbs. I took care of the lawn and the weeds while the dog discovered ever more strategies for getting in my way! It felt as gentle and soulful as JT doing "Handyman" (one of my all-time favorites.)

The poet, Linda Pastan, spoke of home like this - and I think she just about gets it right in "To A Daughter Leaving Home."

When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving

Sabbath blessings to you all from my little home.


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