I walked outside this morning and saw leaves on the ground. It was startling, under the circumstances, but the belated reminder of changing seasons brought refreshing perspective to this Tuesday.
I miss fall in Iowa. I miss the colors in Michigan. I miss football.
I don't have a problem admitting it. I've been romanced by my geographic roots and there's no distance capable of thieving my love of home. But I'm learning about 'home.'
I was talking with my grandparents this weekend and I mentioned how obtuse it seemed that with each move (Michigan, Wisconsin, Chicago, Austin) my heart wanders across the distance to the fields of cass county. I'm not homesick, per se. I'm not ready to pick up and move back to midwest meadows. But, with each day I grow to love my upbringing with a deeper and wider appreciation.
I would be a fool to think that geography alone ties me to any certain place. In fact, I am positive geography is the backdrop, the soundtrack, for life lived in relationships. It is what helps my heart find home, no matter where I find my physical self.
'Home' here in Austin is Sunday night worship. It's sitting at Wahoo's after church, laughing together and daring dreams. 'Home' is being comforted, challenged, refined, and hugged. Home is admitting failures, saying things with your eyes, and writing smiling emails at work.
'Home' is getting bigger for me. I have to take a big breath (the kind they tell you to take when you are overwhelmed) before I can think about how my four walls are expanding across states, yet still feeling comfortably crowded.
I think of my brother yelling encouragement and instruction to his football guys in Holland. I think of my sister, his wife, who is every day searching for joys in work and school. I think of my brother giving crazy determination and faith at Fort LeonardWood. I think of my sister pressing on in her cube of office space in Des Moines. I think of my brother standing tall at Iowa State and learning about the Lord's pursuit. I think of my mom and her unwieldy commitment to her CAM students. I think of my dad and his willingness to be refined as a leader in the church.
I think of my uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents... friends...
I think of these and I am home. What a blessed, beloved community.
Breathe. What a privilege. Breathe.