Home. What is home? Is it the place you grew up in, your hometown? Is it the place where your family lives? Is it limited to just your parent’s house, or your grandparents’ as well? Is home with your friends? Is it your high school or college, where you studied, worked, lived, and played? Perhaps, I propose, home is just a feeling. A place of comfort, warmth, and love. A place where you feel welcomed.
If this is true, then my home is transient.
In Louisville, my home can be found on many streets: Slack Avenue, my boyhood home; Westside Drive, my grandparent’s home; Popular Level Road, my first place of learning, growth, and now employment; Old LaGrange Road, a friend’s and in many ways an extended family’s home. In Cincinnati, my home reaches into neighborhoods as I recall endless walks down Montgomery Road, Ledgewood Drive, and Dana Avenue through Norwood and onto Xavier University’s campus where I learned to love and made endless connections.
Beyond that even, if home encompasses a feeling and not just a place where you lay your head, then home casts a wider net. Any place then, where one can feel the loving comfort of familial warmth, can become home. If this then is true, and I know it is, then my newest home can be found on Chemin des Meuniers.
Leaving Lourdes, I was warmly greeted by Nicolas and Josy, old neighbors of Ben Kresse, who drove me to their quaint town of Monein and treated me as family for two nights. From soft French kisses on the cheeks, to laughing over mis -translations and -pronunciations, to conversing politics over post-meal coffee, they took this simple “American Guest” and welcomed him into their French family. As meals were shared hearts were opened. As tours through ancient churches occurred, flashes of life was born. As pitstops to a mechanic shop and superstore were made, cracks in differences were shattered.
Home is transient. Like God, home can be found any place that love is present. A park bench, where an old couple met on their first date. A college campus, where even durning the briefest of walks you’re flooded with old memories. Or even over a meal, where bread is broken and communion is shared by all. Home takes many shapes and sizes and is rarely made of bricks, wood, and nails. Rather, home is made from blood, sweat, and tears.
Taking a brief aside to the service trips to Belize with Hand in Hand Ministries. The house that is raised is not made a home by the constructed supplies but by the relationships built.
People make a home. And because of that gift, if we try hard enough our home can easily be found no matter where we go.
As we pulled away from Monein, the clouds greyed and rain fell. Hugs and kisses were shed along teary-faces and “see you later” promised. The heavens reflected the moods of our hearts as I left my new home and search for another.
Tonight I sleep in St. Jean Pied de Port, tomorrow the Camino begins.