I’ve ached for a home that doesn’t exist for my whole adult life. It’s likely that dull desire belongs to every man and woman. If there is one consistent part of the human condition, it is a deep longing for a home that isn’t here.
That must be why Norman Rockwell and going home for Christmas are nationally cherished ideas. Those are more “based on a true story” than they are “true to life”, but they reflect the desires we hold close.
A soft glow emanating from a place we’ll always be welcome. An open door and a warm fire. A blanket, a good book, and a cup of tea. Gathering around the table, passing the mashed potatoes, and praying for all the family that couldn’t enjoy the blessing of being there.
One thing in real life evokes those Norman Rockwell feelings for me. The consistency and permanency of my husband’s grandparents’ home gives a since of stability and belonging. In the eleven years I’ve been visiting their home, not a thing has changed. Not one thing.
After we had Eli, we travelled to their home to attend the funeral of my husband’s great uncle. Now, his great uncle. He was a man of consistency. He built a house when he got married and lived in it with his wife until he went to live in a nursing home a few years ago. Almost sixty years he lived in that house.
There is comfort in knowing what to expect. You know where you’re going to sleep when you get there. You know what you’ll have for breakfast. You know there is a place for you, a place that’s been waiting since you last left.
Do you ever feel homesick for a place that doesn’t exist? What do you attribute that feeling to? Do you have a place that comes close?