The longer I've been away from my childhood home, the more reminiscent I become each time I return... especially around the holiday season. Arriving transcends the physical into the the emotional arena of settling into a place where I belong......a place for which there is reserved a special spot in my heart. And, when I return home, that spot is filled.
Minutes after arriving yesterday, I was headed out alone for a jog in the cold, crisp late-Fall air. The thin layer of ice crusted snow crunched beneath my feet on the trail, and I could smell the heady scent of cedar and pine from the many branches scattered about. Birds chirped, woodsmoke filled the air,and dusk began to settle in on the early evening. It appeared that every home I passed had a warm glow within, and each car that passed on the country road was headed to their weekend's resting spot. The next day was Thanksgiving.....a time to go home.....a time to give thanks......and a time to anticipate the joyful Christmas season ahead.
As I walked back into my parents' house, I could smell the preparation of the delicious meal. My Aunt and Mom were busily working in the kitchen, the boys giggling and playing on the floor with Grandpa B, Mema crocheting in a chair by the fire, and Jason relaxing in the living room holding Anna Ruth.
In a few days, we'll be headed back to our own home in Battle Ground, where we'll spend the next month as a family enjoying many Christmas preparations and festivities in our own cozy home. That will be the childhood home of my children's memories. Whether or not that is the last home they will remember remains to be seen, but it is home for now.
Looking up the definition of home, you find many words to describe the true meaning of the word: a dwelling place or retreat....a place of residence or refuge....a place where things are most native or most common....in sports, a destination or goal.
In the Bible, God speaks of Heaven as being our true home. Perhaps He created homes on earth so that we might understand the call home. I weep for those who do not have a warm spot in their hearts for home. I would speculate that the spot is indeed there, but the injury of the past has caused them to build a wall to block its access....to protect their hearts.
My prayer is that my own home can be that cozy place that evokes a calling of our eternal home for all who enter my doors...or even peer at my windows from afar! May they see a bright, shining light that welcomes them in. May they smell woodsmoke in the air, hear the snow crunch under their feet, and absorb the scent of cedar and pine into their very souls. May they anticipate a warm meal to fill their bellies and the spot in their hearts created for home.