They say home is where the heart is. It’s not the physical space—the house itself—that makes a home, but rather the ones you’re with and what you’re doing.
I’ve always accepted this phrase blindly. It made intuitive sense. The physical space isn’t really what defines a home. No. It’s the relationships. But this evening, I was challenged in this belief. So I guess what triggered me to think about this phrase was my trip to the FAH tonight. Confession: I haven’t been to the FAH all semester. I don’t have a good reason why I haven’t been back yet, but that’s just the way the semester has played out. When I walked into the house, it just felt so right. It wasn’t even as though I was there to see anyone or anything. This feeling of homecoming was just being in the FAH. It was this oddly comforting feeling, even though I was doing two of my least favorite tasks: loading the dishwasher and cleaning the kitchen.
So there I was, standing in the kitchen, feeling so at home in a house. This feeling of “home” wasn’t coming from a relationship, but from the physical space itself. Does a house have a meaning? Can a house itself be a home? Or is a house just a house?
This piece was referenced in an article I read last week, so I put in a request to get the title from the library. What a beautiful reflection on the natural world and how we approach our lives. Reading this piece was so exciting because it was able to verbalize/communicate everything I love about running outside or walking in the woods or climbing up a tree or sitting on my balcony listening to the wind and staring at the little stars I can see when the sun disappears. Two of my favorite passages:
"A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength." (44)
"What is the value of preserving and strengthening this sense of awe and wonder, this recognition of something beyond the boundaries of human existence? Is the exploration of the natural world just a pleasant way to pass the golden hours of childhood or is there something deeper?
I am sure there is something much deeper, something lasting and significant. Those who dwell as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Whatever the vexations or concerns of their personal lives, their thoughts can find paths that lead to inner contentment and to renewed excitement in living. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.” (88-89)
And I guess we all experience life’s emotions, but they play through in different ways depending on who we are. I didn’t feel like being with anyone and I didn’t feel like being alone in my room so I walked around campus, but then I started to worry that I might be mugged, so I went back to the chapel. And as I was standing in front of the chapel, a cool breeze swept by, and I couldn’t help but notice the dark, clouds quickly racing through the sky. They had an orange tint, probably reflecting off the lights shining upon the chapel. In staring at the chapel, our symbol of where we’ve come and who we are, I felt so lucky to be here. I am so lucky to be here. Then suddenly I don’t feel attached to my own body—just a spirit floating through the air. And I feel so small, so insignificant yet so at peace. That things will carry on as usual in this world whether I’m here or not. And, pardon the cliche, but it really isn’t about the end destination, but about the journey we take to get there. And my goal in life shouldn’t necessarily be so egocentric, like wanting to be an expert/important in so-and-so field or wanting to be remembered. But that my goal in life should be to experience, to be, to breathe. To experience emotions to my fullest extent. And yes that may mean hurt or anger or frustration, but it also means experiencing joy and peace and fullness and rest. And knowing that things are all right even if I might not know what right is. And I’m feeling overwhelmed with the choices I’ve made and the choices I will have to make. And also feeling so thankful for what God has provided me with and feeling such a sense of belonging. Of belonging to this school, to this community, to these friends I’ve surrounded myself with. I almost want to cry, yet I don’t. No. It’s a feeling of wanting to freeze this moment in time because I’m afraid that I’ll never feel this at peace and such a sense of belonging to this beautiful school I’ve now come to instinctively call home. And wanting to freeze time but knowing that time won’t pause for anyone. And knowing that I should be thankful for each day and each experience. And actually being thankful as I’m living the experience, not being thankful after the fact, but not knowing how be thankful just now. And not knowing if being thankful is adequate enough. And who to be thankful to? To God for guiding me here? To my family? Or to the friends who have made the experience what it is? And do we end up where we are because this was God’s plan in the first place or because we shaped our own futures? And do we have destinies? Are we bound to meet the souls that we meet or is it purely by chance? And suddenly I inhale sharply and I’m back standing on my own two feet in my own body and I realize I probably seem so strange. Just a small figure standing in the shadow of our chapel.
Listserv got an email about rules for assassins. Favorite question: