From the sapling to the seedlingJanuary 21, 2016
I’ve found myself loving the Facebook memory feature of late. January is full of eventful memories, interviews for jobs that weren’t to be, excitement as I prepared to visit Serbia for the first time, early days in married life and adapting to Serbian celebrations. I found myself reading a set of house rules from when I was in a particularly tough place and wishing Velvet ashes would make the weeks theme ‘home’ so I could once again share them. Then, to my surprise, they did. It felt like answered prayer, to write the words I wish I’d known back then, the way home has become such a powerful word.
“Dearest little seeding, I’d like to welcome you home. I know it doesn’t feel that way yet, this out of sync land full of strange words and barely perceptible norms. Perhaps your mission here will be little more than an elongated holiday with a purpose. Perhaps you’ll never even come to consider this corner of the planet anything but slightly less alien, but it is home just the same. Perhaps, at first, home will only be the familiar bedding you brought with you, the hairbrush tangled with your locks on the side unit, and your shampoo in the shower. One day home may become the front door behind which your refuge lays or the building, the street, or even the sign that marks the village, town or city.
Some days it will still feel alien, even if years have passed. You’ll hug close to stories of Abram, weary from the travels, knowing this is the land promised but unable to claim your position. Some days your supports will feel weak as wet paper, they will flop on your unsteady feet, the very ground quicksand to your enthusiasm, swallowing your resolve whole. But dearest little seedling, this is still your home. Other days you’ll remember to lean into the strength of the universe curator, his spinning web of consequences will decorate your movements, make your clumsy graceful, and your friendships firm. Home will be an easy word though still only held by that which adorns your passport. But dearest little seedling, this too is your home.
Take it from the sapling, it’s branches still weak and fragile but it’s roots established, ‘home’ is a word you want to use. It was foretold that we would be the strangers in a land not our own, passers though looking for a home that fits like a key into the aching hole in our souls (Hebrews 11). This travelling and movement will redefine that word ‘home’ for you, it will break it’s physical connection and leave you nestled in the arms where your true home always lay. It may be tempting to drop the word home or brandish it as a promised light at the end, but please don’t.
Home is a powerful thing, home is the primal place of protection, it’s the place you fight for, pour your love into, rearrange to accommodate, redefine as you grow. By calling this odd place home your heart will invest a little deeper, your roots grow a little firmer, your wandering stretch a little further, and your adaptability bend a little smoother. Call it home on the good days, the rough days, the days you feel safe and the days that safety laughs in your face. And if all else fails plan how to make it the home you will be of.
In my struggling days I wrote my homes plan, it was ideal, it still hits me when I read it. I’m still striving to live up to what I envisioned.
Inside these walls
nationality steps back and allows others in
and they bow to recognise the ground they walk on
inside these walls everyone is included
to the furthest reach of each individuals ability
those we enjoy and those we struggle with
inside these walls
love lives and breaths and allows imperfections
inside these walls
confusion is accepted
and tears are as valid as laughter
inside these walls
we build collectively rather than individually
things that last seconds and memories that last a lifetime
Oh my dearest little seeding, all will not be well, there will still be days you just can’t cope, days of great sorrow, days your soul will ache for a faraway dream, but you don’t build this place into a home on your own, you never have and you never shall.”