the sky has been slate grey all afternoon, with intermittent showers rapping on the western facing windows. it's in the upper 80's outside, but in here with the air conditioning cranked up, i'm almost getting the sensation that it's really fall. who knows, i may even drag my big blue rubbermaid tub full of autumn decorations out of the garage (no basements here) and have at it this weekend.
thanksgiving is right around the corner, and on its heels christmas, and the thought of spending them in florida again with the shining sun and gaping hole where friends and family should be is a suffocating feeling i'm currently holding at arms length. Lord, i pray, even if i weren't here, where is home on this earth for me? there are places to visit where there are traces of an old life here, a memory there, but no house, no stretch of road or land, no group of people even that constitutes a proper home to return to. i know this is in a lot of ways just an extreme version of what we all face - this realization as we've gone along for years that that our home that once offered safety, security, belonging, rest, and familiarity is gone, or at best, has changed irreversibly with the sale of a house, the aging of generations before us, some births, deaths, changed relationships. i remember sitting at a different dining room table than the one i'd grown up around a few years ago, before my dad sold the house i spent my first seventeen years in; looking at the eleven people interacting and thinking "once upon a time (and for many years) only three of us were here." life goes on, and with it goes the old. i am so thankful that i don't despair over this, that in the grace and mercy of God i am looking forward to the new, when once again I will sit around a table, one that is totally unfamiliar to me, and know that as our Saviour passes around the bread and wine, i have come home to a home where i am known. where i belong, where i am safe and sound, where there are no more tears, or pain, or troubled times. what can i say in the place i am in now, too hot for this time of year and dealing with our family feeling lonely? i take heart, i am grateful for hope.