Every time I walk through that terminal, past the baggage claim and out the front doors, I love this city a little bit more.
This morning she was quiet, hung with thin grey clouds. Scattered amidst her familiar landmarks, the trees are lighting up in a million shades of red.
Home has always been a very fluid concept for me.
I lived in at least half a dozen houses in three states before I graduated high school. I could count on one hand the number of people I still know who live in my “hometown”. My family is scattered all over the country, as are my friends.
Often I have wanted to go home, but I’ve had no fucking clue where that is.
God knows how many times I’ve tried to manufacture a home through desperate dedication. I’ve learned the hard way, that’s not possible. You can buy a house and spend every weekend mowing the lawn, and two years later it all turns to paperwork and packing tape and slips through your fingers.
Then you can go all the way in and pack everything you own to move across the country to a new city. There you’ll pour every waking moment and so many dollars you don’t have into making that city feel like home, and it will all collapse in a pile of broken hearts and broken dreams after just a few months.
I’ve learned the hard way.
Yet, somehow I keep finding my way back to this city. And, almost against my will, it’s starting to feel like home.
I moved into a new house this summer. It’s a very modest rental on the northeast side of Minneapolis, with a tiny kitchen and hardwood floors and a backyard covered in bright yellow leaves right now.
From the leftover pieces of what I used to call life, plus some stuff scrounged from Target shelves and craigslist ads, I’ve been trying to make it feel like a home.
The walls are still mostly blank, and I’m teetering on a fine line between “minimalist” and “barren”. But I’m making progress.
I take pride in this tiny place. And when I walk in my front door, I feel like this is where I belong. It’s mine.
I have a dog-eared copy of Henri Nouwen’s The Inner Voice of Love on my bookshelf.
I’ve carried this little green book with me through the past year, finding myself drawn again and again to its words of hope and healing. In it Nouwen writes:
So stop wandering around. Instead, come home and trust that God will bring you what you need. Your whole life you have been running about, seeking the love you desire. Now it is time to end that search. Just stop running and start trusting and receiving.
Home is where you are truly safe. It is where you can receive what you desire. You need human hands to hold you there so you don’t run away again. But when you come home and stay home, you will find the love that will bring rest to your heart.
I’m trying to learn that part. I’m trying to return, and rest. I’m trying to learn to trust love.
And today, I’m trying to remember that home is not these just four walls still waiting to be hung with art.
Home is carried inside me, no matter where I am.
published October 20, 2015
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