I am sitting in the living room of my little apartment, looking around the room, taking it all in, and feeling downright cozy and a bit nostalgic. As my eyes move from my red sofa to my new ivory and turquoise armchair to my rocking chair that was a 30th birthday gift, down to the floral rug with the cedar chest from my childhood resting on it and now serving as a coffee table, I am overwhelmed with a feeling I haven’t had in a long, long time. And what exactly is this feeling? It is that of being home!
When I was a child growing up, the house I lived in was home. Even when we moved when I was 16 from the house I was brought home to as a newborn, I always felt like I was home, because the furniture was familiar, the same pictures were on the walls, and the dishes my mother set the table with at each meal were old friends. And, of course, my mama and daddy were there.
Somewhere along the way, I lost the feeling of home. I think it was from moving so often after I married – from one apartment to the next – and then from parsonage to parsonage. For a short period of time, less than a year, we owned a small home, and bought a few pieces of furniture. But once we began parsonage life, our homes were always furnished by someone else. Granted, I took familiar things with me from house to house – dishes, linens, children’s toys, books, and things like that. These things helped me to feel comfortable and surrounded by some familiar things, but I never had the sense of being AT HOME. My children grew up moving every few years, leaving familiar furnishings behind, and having to get used to a new town and church, as well as a different house to live in. I always did my best to add a personal touch our parsonage homes, but for me, something was always missing.
Later, when I married for the second time, my husband and I bought, and later, built a home. I was feeling more at home, but most of our furniture came from his life before me, and I offered very little in the way of adding my personality to each house. We never bought anything together to make the place where we lived OURS. After my parents died, I was given some of the old furniture from my childhood home, which helped fill the emptiness of needing the sense of home. I now was surrounded by a few familiar things, which helped fill the home-i-ness void.
And now, here I am, writing at my dining room table, with the furniture from my parents’ home, and with things that I have collected, bought, and been given as gifts for my own nest filling my view of this room. It is a conglomeration of old, new, yard sale, discount store, handmade, thrift store, and more. And photos are everywhere, reminding me of who I am, where I came from, and who is special to me. As I look around me, everything fits together like puzzle pieces into a wonderful picture of wholeness – my home.
Yes, I am at home. I am alone now, without a husband beside me or children running through the house. It is very quiet and serene. Even little Miss Sunshine has abandoned me for her bed, which was once my doll’s bed, where she is sleeping peacefully and perhaps dreaming of her fun-filled day.
It is so good to be home.