On Going Home
“Take a right at the light, go past the school and take a left. Right after that, take an immediate right and I am the seventh house on the left. It is the only house with landscaping lights.”
Those words amazed me. I can still hear them now. This woman, a girl in some ways, was describing how I could find her before our first date. Little did I know, or really, likely did I know, that this house would become my home. I mowed the yard several times before I lived there. I returned from many nights out to drop off my then girlfriend. I met the children that would become my kids. I met the dogs that would become my pets. I shared popcorn and movies, home cooked meals, and enjoyable conversation with the love of my life in this house. A house that was bought after a divorce, in a bit of a rush, by a person never knowing, as divorcees often are not knowing, if she would ever find love again.
When I needed to know her ring size, I borrowed a tape measure and pretended to measure the back door for the addition of a storm door. Secretly, I slipped into the bedroom and measured one of her rings to compare to a engagement ring. She was so disappointed that she did not get a storm door that later I had to purchase one. This home is where she smiles. This home is where we fight, and cuss, and hug, and do life together. This home is where Taylor and Tiffany grew up and out, and where Carter found a love he had not had before. It is a house that contractors built, but a house that shelters love.
We signed papers to sell the home this week. A day later it was sold to one of two buyers that made an offer. Some people bake cookies before someone looks at their home for sale. We packed it with thirteen years of love. I will not miss the home. I have left it before (another long story). In truth, it is, and never was, my home. My home is in the heart of those that will travel with me through life and into another house. My home is in the Creator from whom no matter where I go, I cannot escape. Still, it is where I became who I am for some years of my life.
I will place my head in a pillow tonight thinking about what it means to go home. Thinking about where my home might really be. I will go to sleep tonight, as I often do, with thoughts of those without a home. I will dream with wonder about the Universe and the small part I play in its speaking to its creation. And when I wake, I will either be excited that I made it through another night of rest or I will be excited that I am with my Jesus in a way I have not known before.
As for going home, I am unsure if I have ever had a home. I am unsure if I have ever belonged anywhere. And in that uncertainty, I find that I am home wherever I am. It all looks the same when your mind is fixed on other things. And while my aspirations and responsibilities create more for me, I am content with Spotify, a book or two (audio and otherwise), a pair of wireless headphones, and access to the sermons of my favorite clergyman Don Morris. What blesses my soul is knowing that when I sleep and when I wake, the love of my life, just a few turns and seven houses away, thirteen years ago, will be within reach.
They say that home is where the heart is. They say so many things. I have left parts of my heart in so many places, countries, and with so many others, that I have lost track of where my home might be. What I do know, is this house, while it may not be my home, means something to me. Just as the next house I live in will mean something to me. We trick ourselves in thinking that we are physical beings with a soul. It must be that we are souls with physical forms. And this is the conundrum with housing. I am moving into a new house, but it is only another tunic for my home. I never had a dream home. I have, however, been lucky enough to have a home to dream in.