We stayed with some dear friends for a bit, which was amazing. The kids had a blast, and we drank coffee and talked for hours. And we caught glimpses of other friends who break my heart with their dearness. (I sound like my Grandma.) Too short, too short. I mean, I literally caught a glimpse of my friend Curtis as he ran from work to sleep to school.
We slept on a church floor while we were in San Francisco. It was interesting to see what a wimp I've become. Ten years ago, I slept directly on the floor quite often. I even slept sitting up in vans, slept on the grass in the open at rest stops, slept on chairs pulled together and in backyards and sometimes I didn't sleep at all.
Now my sleep is very precious to me. For obvious reasons.
We had a great time, it was fun and we met a lot of people. But I was interested to observe how exhausting it was to take care of the kids under these circumstances. Traveling from place to place, figuring out what to feed them, (and ourselves) keeping everyone busy and entertained. And the question came to me, what is a home?
I mean, at home we do the same things. We eat, we sleep, we play. But at home it feels safe and relaxing, while when we were away it felt a little tiring. I wanted to go home, at the end of it, looked forward to being in my own place. What was I looking forward to?
I ask because we are moving to India. And things are moving very quickly now. We may be moving away from our home here within the next couple of months, and we'll be traveling for a little while before we settle into our new home in India, wherever that may be. It is vastly, amazingly exciting. We have been longing for this for years, since we last left India, right before we were married, and now it is coming to pass.
But what makes a home? I know that my longing for home springs from something eternal. I know that it is about more than four walls and a front door. I know that I am very simple in my needs. Give me enough space and some beauty and I'm fine. And enough space here, in this house, is about 850 square feet. But I need more than space, it is something more central than that. It is like a web of security, and I'm beginning to realize that I have been placed here to weave this web for my children. Even as we move around.
Some things that come to mind are routine; a rhythm that pulses through every day faithfully. Not easy when you're traveling, but necessary. Familiar objects, maybe; a certain tapestry or picture that moves with you from a wall in your home country to a wall in a hot country across the world. I know that at this stage in the growth of my children we are their home.
Do you have any ideas about making a home wherever you are? I would love to hear them.