One thing have I desired, my God, of Thee:
That will I seek: Thine house be home to me.

(Amy Carmichael)

This is not really a post for playing ‘catch up’, and I’ve stayed in touch with most of you anyway. Susan and I still send each other quotes about our eternal home: I sent her the above recently. I expected that I would find ‘home’ again — that glimmering reflection of it, like light from a candle house cast up on the walls — waiting for me quite naturally here in this lovely home in Indiana: for the house simply stood here and was a real home the first time I walked in. But since moving in there has been one thing after another — one of those things being my approach to homemaking itself — preventing any sort of settledness; and as usual, I’ve not been very well; and somehow like Gollum’s ‘precious’, my idea of ‘home’ is always slipping through my fingers. I was able to do some things like laundry and dishes on our anniversary that I hadn’t done in quite some time; and Ruben told me what a comfort it was to him have me standing at the stove cooking his dinner, with laundry running in another room, again. I remember that sort of comfort — coming into the house and hearing my mom up in the kitchen when I was little, after she had been sick for a few months; and it was odd to realise that anyone finds that adjustment of the world into its rightful place in my movements.

Recently, watching the light cast the few remaining shadow leaves over patches of color and texture around this kitchen, I remembered that comfort of my childhood in my mother’s routines again. And I realised, returning back over my memories of a number of places, that a place feels like home to me not because the walls themselves become so familiar, or because I have hung up familiar things on them; but because of the familiar movements of light I have often traced on the walls. I can try to create ‘home’ out of my own raw materials — things I have managed to hang onto from previous places, a certain regularity of motion, the ephemeral scents or sounds of cooking or running laundry — but ‘home’ is the little, hourly ‘place of our own’ in the abiding love of another. And it is the Lord’s movements in my kitchen, the faithfulness of His daily routines, that gives me that comfort now.

It was poignant and precious to realise that though I may never leave behind anything substantial to mark my pilgrimage on the earth, while I am here, my own routines are in a small way that sort of ‘home’ for someone I love. That seems — in a world torn by wars and rumors of wars, and earthquakes, and diseases, and divorces, and upheavals and distresses and uncertainties of all sorts — worth being.