Home. Sitting on the back porch swing, listening to chickens. Feeling the breeze on my face, and watching it dance through the maples. Hearing the wind chime play its wandering, melancholy notes. Laughing at the fierceness of the tiny hummingbirds jealously watching their feeder. Rocking oh-so-gently back and forth as I read my Bible, or pray, or just relax.
Home. Working in the garden with my family. Feeling the hot sun make sweat roll down my nose. Delightedly wiggling my toes in the bare dirt. Imagining with pleasure the happy meals my family will eat with these vegetables next fall and winter. Talking with Ben about lots of things–Civil Air Patrol, and Jeff Shaara, and summer camp, and Once Upon a Time. Hearing the kids laugh and play in the back yard. Avoiding the worms. Knowing that trying to have any sort of manicure for the rest of the summer is a ridiculous thought, and not caring at all.
Home. Fellowshipping with my church family. Getting two big hugs from Joe. Nervously playing the offertory. Holding the newest baby for the first time. Hearing my daddy preach again. Discussing Colossians. Playing with the little kids. Visiting the nursing home and ministering to the sweet people there. Sharing struggles and victories and blessings and failures. Knowing that I am unconditionally loved.
Home. Reading for fun. Sewing new shorts for Lilly. Learning to steer the canoe. Attempting to climb up waterfalls. Biking until we could bike no longer. Corrupting the little kids with totally pointless youtube videos. Holding hands to pray before meals. Eating homemade bread. Sleeping in. Having to remember to log out of my facebook account because other people are using my computer again. Doing piles of dishes. Not worrying about homework. Talking with my mom whenever I want to. Filling vases full of peonies and coral bells.
Home. The comfortable, familiar, unchanging place I’ve been longing for since school started. The place I feel safe. The place I feel loved. Just the same as always.
Well, almost the same as always.
I came home to find the household expanded by three people and one dog. I came home to find dishes stored in different cupboards. I came home to find my little brothers taller. I came home to find my littlest sister now living in my bedroom. I came home to find my dresser full of other people’s clothes. I came home to find the Japanese Yew gone from in front of the house. I came home to find I came home to find that a job I was planning on is no longer available. I came home to find the old Saturn wagon replaced.
Home. Unpacking things just to pile them on the dresser because I don’t know where to put them. Going on my very first job hunt, resigning myself to a summer of serving greasy fast food. Squeezing just a little closer around the dinner table. Getting used to the feel of the Ford. Looking ahead, unsure of what this summer holds for me. I thought I knew, you see–I had a plan and an idea, and it looked very nice and relaxing. And then … I came home. And the plans I had will have to alter a little bit. But that’s perfectly OK.
Because whatever home means–from fast food to gardening, dishes to youtube videos–it’s where I belong.