women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Welcome Home

"Keep the home-fires burning,
While your hearts are yearning,
Though your lads are far away
They dream of home;
There's a silver lining
Through the dark cloud shining,
Turn the dark cloud inside out,
Till the boys come home."

-popular World War I song

I am back north in Michigan, looking at property. If we like what we see, DH and I will make an offer - almost 9 acres of God's green earth. Room for a small house with a welcoming hearth. Room to make a new home.

The picture above is the view from our proposed front doorstep. It looks out over Lake Leelanau all the way to Big Blue, or Lake Michigan for the uninitiated. We can just barely make out the Manitou islands in the distance.

I have a feeling about this one - this could be it.

We have been looking at property up here with an eye towards an eventual move for many years now, before real life and a decaying real estate market got the better of us.

Sometimes it felt like we were stuck as a fruit fly in amber - fossilized beyond belief.

But all it took was one look, and we knew.

Well, okay, maybe TWO looks - hence this journey north...

Got into town too late for supper last night and found myself at the Bluebird Bar for a whitefish platter at 9:30. When I got back out to the parking lot, Leland had rolled up the streets.

I mean, it was dark!

And quiet!

I pushed the trusty button on my remote; my headlights flashed, my horn beeped, and I was led home, or at least what passed for home at that particular moment - the front seat of my car.

And it started me thinking...

About home. And light. And what that means.

Many years back, during the holiday season, I wrote a poem about lighting a candle in the window to guide the Christ child home.

Literally, I was thinking about some of the gaudier displays of Christmas cheer spread out upon my neighbor's lawns, with light up reindeer and blow up Santas and such. I contrasted those displays with the simplicity of a single candle guttering in the winter blasts, yet burning brightly in its solitude.

Metaphorically, I was speaking of the condition of the human soul; its singular nature and our willingness to be a beacon of hope against the cold winds that blow us hither and yon within our life span.

I resolved at some point to be a candle. Not a searchlight. Not a spotlight. Certainly not a neon sign.

Nothing too bright and flashy. Just a quiet light from a simple soul. To lead my family, my friends, my fellow humans home.

Home is more than a place. It is a state of mind. It is something held within the heart.

We can bar our doors. We can pull up the drawbridge. We can stock the moat with alligators.

Or we can light a quiet candle. We can choose to BE home. To anyone who is searching for one.

No matter when, no matter where, no matter how.

We can keep the home fires burning within our hearts.


T said...

Lovely thoughts to go with the view...I wish you good luck the land looks magnificent.

greta said...

AMEN, fellow candle!

Maria said...

That's what we're trying to do with our kids and their friends. I want their friends to know that if they ever need a safe place, they're welcome here, along with our kids. If everyone was a single light....

caroline said...

What Maria said. If everyone was a single light...the world would glow. sometimes one is drawn to a place to hold the light there. just saying...

thaddeusrose said...

Have really missed your postings! What beautiful thoughts... and best wishes for building a new home...a place that's comfortable, peaceful and beautiful.

joyknits said...

Lovely post - thank you!

DawnMarie said...

Beautiful sentiments Susan. I'd like to think I was a candle too. Secondly, ermmm can I move in with you when your new home is finished, I'm very clean.......honest. Hugs Dawn Marie.xx

Donna Lee said...

What a beautiful view you'll have. It looks like a piece of heaven on earth.

And I agree with your candle analogy. "Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be diminished. Happiness never decreases by being shared."

This is one of my favorite verses and is on the wall in front of my desk at work (along with your friend's assessment of the number of hours in a day)

Debra Simon said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Color me GREEN with envy. I think I will be here in Noble Co Indiana forever.

Hm, will the new house be large enough to offer knittiing "camps" for those of us dying to take classes from you?????

knittinnurse51 said...

Susan such wonderful thoughts must come the beauty of that inspired spot. I have also missed your wise words. Are you open to adoption? I would be very very good. I'll help Dawnmarieg with cleaning.

Debbie said...

Hi Susan, I just turned 50 this week and after reading this realized how much I embrace my age now. I believe HOME is more than a place too, and I am glad I have had 50 years on this earth to provide a home to many people. Here is to 50 more!

Mady said...

What is to think about? Look at that view! Buy it!

Sydney said...

Beautiful view you'll have there! My husband and I just bought a new home (our first) and the first thing we did to make it feel and smell like our home was to light one of our favorite candles. We are enjoying BEing home :-)