TULSA – Over the last couple of days in the car I’ve had lots of time to think. Anytime you drive through 7 states, over 22 hours and 1,500 miles, you have plenty of time to root around in the corners of your mind and mull things over you usually don’t have the time to mess with.
One of the subjects that has gotten a lot of my attention has been the subject of home. I’ve written about this subject before but now that we’re on the journey, it takes on some new meanings.
I’ve always liked the idea of the “home place.” That place that you’ve had for years. The home that you raised your kids in and now those kids are bringing their own kids back to for the holidays. A place where the roots go deep and the dings on the furniture and the scratches in the paint on the wall are all tied back to memories of the past. This is where this happened or that happened and boy did we get in trouble when that happened!
A home base has a lot to do with heritage and the traditions of the family tribe.
But when you decide to take a pioneer’s journey you make the decision to give all that up. There is no place to go back to, no traditional place to share. As freeing as it is to sell and give so much away…to lighten your load, it’s tough to give up on the idea that home is a place.
So if I can’t have that idea of home, what’s left for me? What is it that I can cling to? What will my “home” be? That’s the question that’s been rattling around in my head over the last 1,500 miles. How can Lainey and I experience home if it’s not sitting in the favorite chair in the favorite corner of the favorite room?
It’s been said that home is where the heart is. That sounds about right. But that’s a tough phrase to parse. I’ve never really known what that means.
At least until a couple of nights ago.
Lainey and I had arrived at Higher Grounds Conference Center in Indiana. It’s a place Lainey had never been and I had been only once before. Higher Grounds is a beautiful spot but unfamiliar to us. We were in a strange motel room laying in a strange bed. I was feeling out of place with nothing familiar to tie off to, nothing of home to anchor to.
I was reading and Lainey was sleeping quietly next to me. As I listened to her deep rhythmic breathing I realized that she had fallen asleep holding my hand.
In that moment, even in that unfamiliar room, I knew I was home.