We steer up our long country driveway, and these ash trees that line the lane wave a gentle, green greeting — a welcome-back to weary travelers.
The gravel underneath is percussion, a dusty drumming for our entrance from faraway-to-here. The girls see the sunflowers first, bursting yellow by the cornfields — these prolific weeds that the girls refuse to call weeds because they are just too pretty.
The blooms always mark summer’s end. I catch my breath: It’s August already? How does summer always do that, disappear like a vapor?
Then, from the back seat, the girls shout this one word. They scream it, and I whisper it:
Home! Home! (Home. Home.)
Where has summer gone, with so many of these days and nights spent elsewhere?
I’ve counted the nights, so I know this statistic: I’ve been gone more from this farm than I’ve been here this summer.
I yearn to be here, to just lay my cheek on my pillow — my own pillow — and to press into the space I know best. I like to hear the daily sound of two sisters’ padding feet on maple planks and their noisy play of make-believe. I miss the sound of a washing machine, the gentle hum of the dishwasher, the doorbell and the way the wind whistles through the aspen just outside the back door. That is the soundtrack of my life.
But now, we leave again — less than 24 hours after we’ve returned. This time, we didn’t even unpack the suitcases.
And I sit here at these keys for a solitary, stolen moment in the in-between hours to think about what it means to really be home.
I ‘ve said it before and I repeat it now so I remember: “Home isn’t a place. It’s people.”
And more specifically, it’s a Person.
We leave again, but Home goes with us. Yes, home is where the heart is. But this is just as true: Your heart is where your real Home is. When I remember this truth, I don’t ever really leave home, and I don’t have to wait to come back. The indwelt heart is the cure for the homesick soul, because home is wherever we are.
The heart is the very dwelling place of God, a tabernacle for the most High. We carry God within us. We, the body of Christ, are the habitation of holy God.
And let them make me a sanctuary,
that I may dwell in their midst.
— Exodus 25:8
Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary today. I am never far from from Home, when you are near. Go with us today, Lord. Amen.
A song to prepare your heart as a sanctuary for the week ahead, no matter where you are (click here)…
(Writing in community with Michelle today:)