“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” – George Moore
The old Volkswagen sidles up to the curb and parks in front of a little blue-grey house. Cacti and wild lemon-colored lantana pepper the front yard, and the sinking sun casts a soft rose hue upon the place. It’s an unassuming house passed by everyday without a second glance, but for the girl in the backseat, there could be no sweeter site in all the world. Her heart swelled and caught in her throat the moment it came into view. After seven long months of staring at Italian coastlines, Sicilian sunsets, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's David, the Pantheon, and mountains of gelato, she finally laid eyes on the site she longed to see more than anything – home.
Sometimes it takes distance to defog our eyes to the things we leave behind. How often we forget to recognize the gift of something until we feel the hole of its absence. Family members, friends, an old dog, the comfort of your own bed.
As the comings and goings of summer come to an end, this idea of coming home has been a consistent theme on our hearts. Labor Day always marks a pivotal point in our annual schedules. Not only does it mean grandiose barbecues and long hours soaking up the sun, it also signifies the end of summer adventures and a return to school, to work, and to a more regular schedule. It's the season of homecoming football games, back to school bashes, and back to the grind.
We encourage you to take this one glorious three day weekend and think of it as a reset button. A deep breath before the wave sweeps us up again in this oscillating pattern of transition. Whether you've been jet-setting all summer or sleeping in your bed every night for the last year, this is an opportune time to evaluate where you are and in what ways you need to come home.
“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou
Coming home doesn't necessarily mean to a specific place. Like Maya Angelou writes, it means to retreat to a place where you feel safe and make time for yourself to breathe. By making time for yourself, we don't just mean go and get your nails done - though you should squeeze a little time in for that in too! - but real, intentional time. The kind that is challenging and often uncomfortable. Find a safe space to turn inward and sincerely evaluate yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually - it is essential for the health of yourself and relationships. Face those things that you push to the corners. Make peace with all that's unresolved within and around you. Reflect on the joys and gifts present in your life, the ways you've lived well over the past few weeks, and also the places where you have been living less than loving, less than gracious. With patience, grace and a little time, confronted weaknesses often transform into your biggest strengths. After all, we do live in a world where caterpillars become butterflies.
Coming home requires an inward journey, but also an outward one. Your inner work builds a lasting foundation, while the health of community creates the walls that make it a home. The web of your relationships directly affect your health and the person you are. In a world of bustling schedules and phones and computers as our most common way of connecting, when was the last time you sat down face to face with a close friend and really talked with one another? Deeply, meaningfully, compassionately? Take time to deepen your relationships, to open your home and yourself to others even when all you want to do at the end of a busy day is catch up on your favorite tv shows and have a quiet night... you can invite people into that! Relationships take time, but in the end they are worth every second because they are our greatest riches.
“If Light Is In Your Heart / You Will Find Your Way Home.” – Rumi
We'd love to know what does coming home mean to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!