Palm trees become tiny dots on desert as we descend over clouds, and I have the revelation seated in row nineteen when I awaken from the daydream.
My thoughts drift to home. To fluffy pillows, the smell of bleach on freshly washed sheets, birds spitting seeds on the feeder rocking wildly outside my writing window, the linger of fog in early morning and I give myself over to it. The revelation that the seaside town where my brick house wedges among the azaleas, pines and magnolias; this place is truly home.
And maybe that sounds obvious because most of us like things the way we like them, and clarity comes when we step back, live somewhere else for a while. Right?
For nine years now the distance between the desert and the ocean separate my heart from my home.
We move from dry and dust to wet and moldy. From a melting pot of ethnic and cultural diversity to sturdy roots that travel deep into layers of generations who speak the same language of life. From rock strewn latte colored mountains dotted with prickly green spires to shell shorn seamless beaches and Live Oaks canopied ancient.
When you move from place to place, a nomad wading through your life story, there is a part of your heart that hides away from the world. Because with every kind of change, comes the hard work of laying down your life to find it again. And being that kind of naked among people you don’t know, takes courage.
I tell it to those who find themselves in transition, that it takes three years. Three years to feel your own skin in a new place. To sink into history and language of culture that evolves for years before you arrive, and remain true to yourself. Three years to find your stride among the natives. And I just pass days counting three years in the eighth place we live in twenty-one years of marriage.
While flying atop a city of clouds, I look into their giant slendor and he whispers: You don’t have to be a native to be at home. You don’t have to shadow the movement of the culture to be home. Home is where you hear my voice, lay in my arms, breathe peace in my presence, be the one I created.
And sometimes it takes dangling above the clouds to see that the place where you live is home. Not bricks and mortar, but the spot carved out just for you in the world that reveals the person of Jesus.
“Peace is person, not a place.” ~Ann Voskamp