Somewhere in Texas on a flat and lonely stretch of interstate my wife broke the silence to share, “I started to say that we are a long way from home, but I’m not sure where home is right now.” This wasn’t a sad statement, just a true one.
#1: We are forever from Arkansas, and before our trip ended we spent quality time there. Family. Farmland. Razorback license plates. Home.
#2: But we lived a decade of our married life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a special place we also visited on our cross-country journey. Live oaks. Shrimp boats. Humidity. Also home.
#3: Our trip originated in California where we lived together the longest. Palm trees. Mountains. Crashing waves. Yet another home.
#4: But we eventually arrived in Nashville, Tennessee. Music. Rolling hills. Hot chicken. Our new home.
So where should we say is home? It is a question far deeper than our uniquely mixed-up situation. “Home” may generate thoughts of a specific residential structure or a group of people or a city/region/state/country, but I think home is more of a sensation. It is a place of belonging. From personal experience it seems to me that there can be more than one, and today, as I start my new job, we are excited to add a new one to our list.
But then again I’m not certain we human beings ever really locate home on this life journey. Our talk of “something more” than this life leads me to wonder if we are all simply on an epic odyssey to find home. As Sojourner Truth once declared, “I am not going to die. I’m going home like a shooting star.” Maybe we are all headed home?
We took a break in the middle of our cross-country move to enjoy New Orleans, one of our very favorite places. We were sitting in the warm sunshine in Jackson Square, soaking in the day, when my wife raised the question again, “If someone asks us where we are from, what do we say?” I admit that I was stumped. But later, upon reflection, I think I just might say, “’We’re from everywhere, but ultimately we are headed toward home.”