Reflections on Home

We find in literature, both ancient and modern, the epic journey of traveling homeward. The scripture tells us that Jesus had no place to rest his head, meaning that he found his home not within a physical structure, but within himself. Moses led his people out of bondage to the “Promised Land.”  For Buddha it was a state of being awake under a tree.  In Homer’s epic poem,  Odysseus after years of struggle in the Trojan War and many adventures along the way returns home where there is great rejoicing. Home however had changed in his absence, with many suitors courting his wife. Most recently I read Tender is the Land where a boy, Odie (short for Odysseus) starts out on his journey to home and meets the same kinds of adventures as Odysseus in the Homer epic. What home turned out to be, as it was for Odysseus was very different from what he expected, and comes to the realization that home is where the heart is.

Jim and I received a beautiful book as a wedding present entitled A Home for the Soul, a guide for dwelling with spirit and Imagination. This book is full of creative designs for all rooms of a house; this is not a home improvement book but one which can really nurture you as you live and grow in it. It was the perfect gift for me as I, myself, have always longed for a beautiful, orderly peaceful home with someone to share it with. Lawlor invites us to see our homes as invisible patterns of spirit,  permeated with purpose and significance. He believes we can transform a house into a temple “where purpose and beauty are a concrete reality and where each room delights the soul” inviting us to bring forth the creative potential within us. Like many, I have traveled to Europe, to China, to India both alone and with a partner but always looked forward to the joy of coming home. As the saying goes “there is no place like home.” As I have discovered over the years is that we have to weave together the different elements of home for ourselves and from within ourselves. 

One time when I had traveled to Wisconsin, a particularly disappointing trip, I came home, having gotten on the wrong plane and having lost my suitcase that contained many new clothes and a precious string of pearls, among other items. It was obviously a time for a new beginning! In my stack of mail, there was an invitation to a workshop entitled Inspiration Sandwich at a nearby bookstore. which turned out to be a turning point in my life. The facilitator asked us to write down what we would like to create if there were no considerations of time or money, or any of the other reasons that limit our sense of possibility.  Feeling uncharacteristically free of limitations after my trip, I wrote the biggest dream I could think of at the time: “To weave an environment in which people could enter and be instantly healed.” She didn’t immediately tell us the second and third steps which were what baby steps would we be willing to take towards that end and when would we take it. Oh, you mean I have to take action?! I immediately threaded my portable loom and wove something;  a few days later, I took a trip to Falling Water, Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece which, for years I had wanted to see. It was so awe-inspiring, it took my breath and my words away.  When I returned, I set about doing what I could to create something beautiful in my modest DC apartment. My friend Kevin gave me a supreme compliment last week when I told him how much I loved my home but that it was too big.  His reply was—“You could turn any space into a beautiful home.”  

Here in Kansas City, I had bought the ideal home as close to a Frank Lloyd Wright home with a beautiful hearth in the living room, and a sense of being an integral part of a beautiful environment.   

My great realization was that the home is indeed where the heart is and that I was longing to share it with one who shared my delight in decorating and making it continually more beautiful and, at the same time, growing more and more harmonious in the process. That was an ideal which shall be for another lifetime. 

Perhaps I shall find as so many others before me, and what all humanity is destined to do consciously or unconsciously is to build a home within, a home where the soul can grow into its full flowering.