Over the last year, I’ve done a lot of thinking about “home.” Home as place. Home as geography. Home as being with friends. Home as memory. Home as comfortable in one’s skin. Ah, there it is. Comfort. Maybe what carries across all of these aspects of home is a feeling of comfort, of belonging.
I’m in one of those stretches of the calendar where the home that is geography is quite welcomed. Six of seven weeks are on the road, away from the home that is Utah. This includes all good things — a board meeting for a non-profit, four Art of Hosting events (reaching 200 people), and a healing retreat. I am “home” now, today being the third of four days in such manner. To be with my kids. To eat Sunday dinner. To walk my dog a few times. To take a long, hot bath. To catch up to email and tasks that have had to wait while I’ve been hosting. To prepare for the events that are coming. To stack up essential phone meetings that can’t wait another two weeks. It is full. I am full.
Perhaps “home” is a marker for the deep longings that so many of us feel. In a way, with my kids, all I’ve ever wanted is to be a good dad. I love them. I love watching them grow into their adult lives. Hearing what they are studying. Hearing what they are questioning. I love playing games with my youngest, now nine. Laughing. Teasing. Being dad is a home for me. I know that I am uniquely fed by being with my kids, even in the ambient togetherness that is doing separate things under the same roof. I believe they are fed by being together, even in the simple touchstone that is a Sunday dinner with overcooked chicken.
Our longings feed us. Our “coded for together” feeds us. These are impressions that ground me while I’m here, in the home that is family. And they are impressions that I will carry with me into the next two weeks, where others, from other homes, will turn to each other with longings, and likely, surprise belongings.