Three college girls, Elisabeth among them, drove all night to spend a few days with their families back east. Since the driver lived near my two older daughters, Dad and I drove down to spend Thanksgiving there. I couldn't wait to see them all. When Elisabeth arrived I ran down the front steps to give her a big hug, tears in my eyes. I hadn't seen her since August 23rd when I left her standing by her dorm eleven hours away.
We all had a wonderful few days . . . catching up, laughing, sharing ideas and recipes, eating, and playing with two little grandboys, ages five and thirteen months. I savored the days. Yet I knew our stay would be temporary. And as our time drew to a close, I found my mind wandering back to the place I've called home for nearly thirty years.
What is it that draws us back? We can almost feel the pull of home after an all-day shopping trip, a white-knuckle drive on slippery roads, or even a much-needed week at the beach. Perhaps it's the familiar, the predictable routines, and the memories that nurture our souls. Or maybe it's the sigh of relief that comes when we climb our own creaky stairs, snuggle into our own bed, and listen for the chime of the old clock on the mantel, the click of the furnace, the hum of the refrigerator.
My mother used to say, "It's good to go. And it's good to come home."
Would you agree?
On our way back, as rolling hills gradually rose into rugged terrain, I began to reflect. In this life, we savor the days. Each one is a precious gift. We spend time together, exchange ideas, serve, and pray. We play and work, eat and sleep. Yet we're "strangers and pilgrims" in this world. Here for a little while. And "any day now," as the old song goes, "we"ll be going home."
Can you almost feel the pull? Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you . . . that where I am, there you may be also."
In Barry's words, "That's home" (Penned, page 41).
Photos by Julie Manwarren