Sometimes I feel homesick. But it’s not for any particular home or family. It’s the weirdest feeling. I’ll be sitting there, doing the dishes or folding laundry, and I’ll feel that something is horribly wrong. I’m in the wrong place, and everything feels sad, and I just need to take my husband and children and get home.
I feel like the wild daisy in A.R. Ammons’s poem, “Loss.” He describes a wild daisy “half-wild with loss” who turns “any way the wind does” and lifts up her petals to float off her stem and go. It’s an image of terrible longing.
What must it feel like to be rooted nowhere, to belong nowhere, and move like that with the chaos of the wind? Some of us live that way simply because we don’t know where to put down roots. We can’t find a sure place to land. On those days, we are wanderers, and even if we have the strongest physical sense of home and place, we still feel lost at sea.
There’s a homesickness in our soul, even on our best days.
So I’m doing the dishes, longing for home, and I recall Frederick Beuchner’s book by the same title. Beuchner’s writing soothes my soul because he says we are all longing for a spiritual home. The sense of belonging and rightness comes when we put down deep spiritual, not just physical, roots.
Maybe there’s hope for me.
Beuchner’s book, The Longing for Home, reminds me how narrow my ideas of home are. My home is not my house. That homesick feeling is a cry for heaven.
But what do I do with today? Is there a way to find a home in this day, even though I’m made for another Home?
Beuchner says this:
“In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another day just like today, and there will never be another just like it again. Today is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth. It is the point from which all your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. If you were aware of how precious today is, you could hardly live through it. Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all.”
Today is precious. So precious I can hardly live through it. I can find my home in this very day, with God, and belong somewhere while I long for Home. Living with flair has something to do with finding what’s precious even when I’m wandering.