Saturday, February 24, 2007

Homeward Bound

My dog just answered a question that has been tugging at the edges of my brain for a week or so...

The last few days has been a frenzy of packing and sorting and trying to keep a business going smoothly while moving farm, business and family more than a thousand miles.

I was packing orders to ship, or trying to, as I had just moved my desk into the kitchen. I had spent more than an hour or to trying to get the desk, all the boxes that belong to it and all the paraphenalia that goes with it organized, sorted and packed neatly. All the books, fibers and other inventory that we store in the office was already in neatly labeled boxes in the truck.

Good thing they were labeled!

Already I had been out to the truck, in 70 mile per hour winds, three times, to get books, fibers or tools that were needed to fill orders. My brain was keeping up a steady patter of background thinking - wondering about which coat to wear to town and whether or not we would find the mailbox after the wind quit.

I looked at the packing slip for the next order and saw it was another book that was in the truck. Wearily, I heard myself sigh.

"I'm so tired of this," my brain said, "I just want to go home."

My mind heard this comment and everything stopped as I examined it. What did I mean, "Go Home?" The picture that came to mind was my jean jacket, hanging on the wall and my clogs under it. I missed them - they are in our camper, Midas, in Arkansas.

But Arkansas isn't home yet, it is two campers on a beautiful piece of a friend's land and a rented store. If anything, this farm here in Colorado should be what my mind thinks of as home, I've lived in this valley longer than I have lived anywhere in my whole life - and in this house second longest. But I don't know if this house ever has been home.

What is home?

As an Army brat, that is a question that has occupied a great deal of my life. Longing for home, looking for home, dreaming of home.... and I'm still not sure how to define the concept. I thought it meant roots and a place where you stayed, forever, but I have never been able to find that.

I thought it meant community - friends, family and relationships that you nurture and who care for you. I am blessed with that, many-fold, but I haven't found a home in it. My friends and family are in many different times and locations. We bring each other lots of joy, but nothing that I can define as home.

My brain gave me a hint, my snugly jean jacket and easy to put on clogs - Comfort and tools that fit right. But this afternoon, Quigley gave me my answer.

We are in Arkansas now and are unloading the truck and trailer. Boxes, and boxes, carried into the store. Shawn brought in the heavy parts of my desk. I brought in the desk top and settled it on the ends. As I was adjusting the sides, Quigley crawled under the desk, stretched out and sighed contentedly. He was home!

Then I realized - Home is where ever you can be comfortable and with the ones you love (human or otherwise) - whether it is the back of a van in the Louisiana swamp, under a desk in the Arkansas Ozarks or in a grove of trees on the Colorado Plains. Home is a moment of relaxation, a soft blanket and warm socks.

Home, sigh.... I am home.

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