I have been thinking about the word home. What does that word mean to me? To my children and grandchildren? To a homeless person sleeping on a box in the woods? To a refugee in a camp with too many people and too few comforts? To someone whose dream is to live in the United States?
I go through periods of homesickness. I feel sad. I remember the movie Heidi and her longing for the mountains where she lived with her grandfather. My challenge is I am not sure where my earthly home is. There is a hunger for security and safety mixed in with my repetitive bouts of homesickness. And I am suspicious of my own emotions. I am capable of intense longing for something, some place, even some one, only to discover that my need, my hunger is sated quickly.
Thus, one of my homesick emotions is irritation. I am annoyed with myself. I want to quit with this periodic weepy longing. It used to be tied to October. I would be so dreadfully homesick as the leaves changed color, became a vivid landscape in the mountains I still think of as home. But for years, I was home. This intense October homesickness began in adolescence and I was home. I’d not been much of anywhere yet. A trip to my grandparents meant a drive of less than 200 miles. And for me, that was a drive over twisty mountain roads accompanied by a miserable bout of carsickness.
I was relieved the first year October didn’t usher in moodiness. Maybe, living in Florida cured it, I thought and hoped. But that once a year longing, that time when tears were too quick to fall, morphed into short bouts of homesickness throughout the year.
Maybe, I’m destined to be homesick periodically until I am no longer tethered to this earth. I think about Jesus and the promise of a new earth and a new heaven. Joy will reign there. I can’t imagine being homesick when I am finally home. And I will surely be safe and secure. And so will everyone else sharing that destination.