Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Understanding the Journey

For many years I’ve collected quotations from the famous, infamous or unknown. In a few words, a quote has the ability to elucidate and help me gather my often wordy thoughts.

Home is where your journey begins.

The quote above comes from a small ceramic sign hanging by the front entrance to my home. I wasn’t sure what the anonymous author meant by the phrase, or even what the phrase meant to me, however those words and the Arts and Crafts style of the plaque enticed me to buy it.

It’s entirely possible I have too much mulling time on my hands, but all in all I’ve spent quite a few hours dwelling on the words. Originally I thought of the word “journey” as simply meaning physical travel, not the “journey” of the mind. That’s an odd thing for me as I usually think in metaphorical terms.

It’s also entirely possible my growing awareness of time’s speedy passing has given me new ways of contemplating my mental “journey.”

As a child and all through my long life, my HOME has always been vitally important to me.   

I grew up in a very small house on a very small plot of land on the outskirts of a very small farming community. Of course, I didn’t realize the house was small, didn’t know until years later that the plot of land which seemed so vast to my child-eyes was truly less than a quarter of an acre.

Mother prepared three hearty, healthful meals a day for her family of four. She hummed to herself as she cooked and as she scrubbed, painted and polished every square inch of the (essentially ramshackle) two bedroom home. Home was where mother read to my brother and me—especially every evening before our bedtime—fostering a lifelong love of books and reading.

Home was what Dad left early each morning and returned to each evening after a long day of trudging the streets of our city repairing decrepit elevators in old office buildings and retirement homes.

At an age which now seems so very, very young and immature, I left my family home and began my journey as a married woman. Meager as our income was, over the years the two of us made each of our one, two, three or more apartments into "homes" which nurtured us as we planned for our future.

Our “journey” as a family began with the birth of our first child. Soon after we were able to buy a house—a new house, a tract house, a tiny house, yet a house two energetic and malleable young adults would eventually make into our true “home sweet home.”  

Add a few years to this young family’s journey and our second child was born.

Over the next sixteen years our family of four moved five more times, two of those moves took us across the country; eventually we came back again (for good) to the state in which I was born.

The physical journeys from home were never as life-altering as the many emotional journeys I’ve either had to travel or have chosen to travel.

Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey.
It reminds us to cherish each moment, 
because it will never come again.
What we leave behind 
is not as important as how we have lived.

~Star Trek’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard