I’ve had to think about ‘home’ a lot these days. It’s never far from my mind. No matter how much I try to feel at home with the transitory nature of my life and work, I never quite arrive.
I love the idea of ‘home’. I long to be settled and secure. I heard on the TV last night that there is supposedly an ‘adventure gene’ that some people have. I’m not one of those people. Yet, in many ways, my life has taken that course.
I started out following a Saviour, being promised an eternal home with him in heaven. Little did I know, at that young age, that the promise of an eternal home would come with a guarantee of ‘homelessness’ in this life.
I put ‘homelessness’ in inverted commas, as I’ve never been without a roof over my head. I’ve always had somewhere to settle – for a time – and those settling places have been comfortable and they have been home – for a time.
Like the sofa cushions in the photo above, those homes have been plump with all I’ve needed. I am so thankful for that.
But in many ways, I live in that darker area between the cushions – safe and secure while I’m there – but never quite completely comfortable – and often dusted with the crumbs that are left behind.
I’ve developed the requisite skills of making a house a home – for the year or so that I have in any given house. Home for me ideally comes with neutral tones – so that I can accent it with the colours that capture my heart and imagination. Hints of red and pink and purple. I carry these accents with me from home to home and country to country.
When I arrive in a new home or, as is presently the case, a home that I live in every couple of years or so, I swiftly rearrange and pack away the things that go against my grain. I smooth the lines, I soften the edges, I cover the jarring piece of orange furniture with soft cream. I unpack the soft ivory coloured blanket.
Soft and Squishy. Smooth and Serene.
It comforts me.
I walked home with a good friend today. We’d just been to brunch at some other friends’ home – a beautiful home. But it struck me, as I unwound and rested there, as I was given time and space to be inspired and to laugh, to not have to hurry or be hurried away, that I was ‘home’ there. I’d been given a soft place to land for a time.
It was beautiful. We talked briefly of the idea of ‘longing’.
I long for home. As I reflect on it now, as I tried to think of what I photo I could take for this challenge, my heart ached with longing. Longing for the home I don’t have yet – a longing that comes both from living in the painful in-between, and experiencing the closest taste I can get of what I long for.