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Thursday, 3 April 2008

Coming Home - Shepherd

We are enjoying settling into our own home after nearly thirty years of living in accommodation provided by our employer. We have come back to the city that we consider home. We chose to purchase our very own condo. That means no snow to shovel, which this year has been a great relief. There are no gardens to weed, but in the next few weeks we will begin to enjoy the lawns and gardens tended by others. This will give us time to gaze out of our living room and master bedroom windows that provide a spectacular view of the bay across the street from our home. We feel like we are living our dream.

Coming home to a place where we spent so many years when we were young has enabled us to once again nurture the friendships we valued as young adults. Over the years we have fallen into and out of each other’s lives as we have moved around from one place to another, always touching base at Christmas and whenever we happened to find ourselves in the same city. In spite of our geographical separations our hearts have remained in tune with one another. Now we can arrange to have coffee on the spur of the moment or decide at supper time to take in a movie together the same evening. What a treat!

In addition to the joy of these long standing friendships has been the profound experience of mending some broken relationships. Being away and only visiting from time to time, meant insufficient occasions were available to invite over a couple who through misunderstanding were alienated from us. We were unable to have them over for coffee or a meal to try to begin to build with one another, once more, the trust that unfortunate circumstances had eroded. Now we are home and we can create opportunities to open our home and our hearts, and choose to put aside whatever it was split us apart on that day long ago.

I wondered if it would seem strange to leave my children behind, as we returned to the location that once was home for all of us. Yet the place where they are in their own journeys means that they cannot come home just now. Even that somehow seems right. They need the space to make their own lives and their own homes, so that when they come to ours they will not have to resort to a role that no longer fits them. It was clear when we left and they were so busy that they did not have time to linger in visiting with us, that they had taken wings and were living their own adult independent lives. After all, that was what we raised them to do.

The other reality that brought some trepidation was to leave elderly parents, no longer able to completely care for themselves and thus dependant on the caregivers at the long term care facility where they live. The grace they offered in giving their blessing to our decision to return to the place that is home for us, touched me so deeply. Their unselfishness drew me closer to them in heart while the miles separating us increased.

Coming home has always been a beautiful concept in my imagination. It is returning to the place where dreams began, where hope was palpable and where love ideally and for many of us in reality was the atmosphere that nourished us.

In the intervening years many early dreams shattered to subsequently be replaced by dreams we could never have anticipated. Over time, hope has been buffeted and almost extinguished some days, yet it bravely continues to face each new dawn. Love has matured from a secure refuge to a giddy feeling finally metamorphosing into a deep commitment that holds steady when all else is brought into question.

Coming home is much more that physically relocating Coming home is finding again the place where my heart and my mind are attuned with who I am and where I am. With the Apostle Paul, I can say, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation….” When that is so, I am home, wherever I am.

1 comment:

danièle said...

great to have this link, read more from you and see a picture of you !! I played one of Elisabeth 's record yesterday : )
Lots of love to you and Glen
Danièle César