As someone who has moved a few times in her life and actually really loves change, the first year being in a new place has been pretty great for me.
And I’m still asking myself what more there is to do and be and grow into here, what’s waiting for us around every corner.
For the third leg of our trip back home to the Midwest, we drove into the fullness of the Ozark mountains– oceans of trees surrounding us on either side of the highway. We took in a deep breath– this place is our family’s first home.
When you birth your babies in a place, and everyone gathers there and waits, and celebrates that life has come to the earth once again, that space becomes home.
We drove straight to Suzan, straight to Eliot’s “best neighbor and friend,” as he endearingly calls her.
They whispered secrets about Popsicles and pretzels, bubble machines and gardening.
The boys spent the weekend with her when we weren’t resting at the farmhouse, when we weren’t chasing lightning bugs in the dark or watching families of deer gaze at us from the edge of the woods.
In only a year, people can shift and mold into a completely different shape, and going home can be…odd, while it is so very good. We saw our dearest friends, who asked how we’re really doing.
We drank Onyx coffee every single day.
We watched chickens dance, and we dreamed of future homes for future days, big gardens and room to run.
We wrote and read and rested. We remembered.
Rachel Held Evans writes,
“Healing may come through medicine, through prayer, through presence and scent and calming touch, or through the consecrating of the journey as holy, dignified, and not without purpose or grace.”
She says that the church’s job, and our job as people, is not to cure others, but to join them on the journey of healing.
In Arkansas, everything came together. The whole trip, every experience, every dinner date, every encounter and moment spent showed us a bigger picture of what home meant years ago, what home means today and tomorrow.
We inched our way closer to going back to our now-home, back to our little apartment with our stuff, with our scent, with our memories.
And we discovered that all of this has been a constant healing, a constant consecration of the journey toward God, the journey toward wholeness, the journey toward home.
So we move onward in it, and our daily life is taken up with the practice of becoming more whole, more healed, more forgiven, more grateful, more loved and loving.
Maybe going home simply reminds us that we are human, and that we should celebrate that it is so.