Tuesday, July 23, 2013

a month down memory lane.

we're over three weeks into July, (practically at the end already!) and i have spent the entire month in a great big nostalgia cycle cyclone. i've been digging up memories and driving through old hometowns and hugging people i haven't seen in at least four years or more. my thoughts have been spinning wildly in an attempt to process everything into intelligible words, which has been a pretty daunting task - kind of like trying to build a house of cards in the middle of a windstorm, or herding cats when it's literally raining cats and dogs.
now that the third straight weekend of july's nostalgia-fest is over and my brain isn't quite as cluttered with to-do's and packing lists and nerves, i've finally been able to organize at least most of my thoughts, and this is what i think best sums up what i've been learning in my month of july:
everything changes. nothing changes.
it all started over the 4th of july weekend, when my BFITW came to visit, and we spent an afternoon with a couple of our good friends from college who just so happened to be in the same country/state/area that weekend. it had been years since we had all been together, but the conversation was effortless and fun, and we joked and laughed like nothing had changed since freshman year.

the very next weekend, i drove home to my highschool hometown. i was there to celebrate one of my good friends - the most precious mom-to-be i've ever known. she's one of the first of my wide circle of close friends to have a baby, and i am beyond excited for her!

we spent the afternoon chatting like the old friends that we are, catching up on everything that has changed in our lives and around town since high school, (Scoopers is a dry cleaners!? sadface) and being amazed at how easily our friendships picked back up after so many years.

then just this past weekend, Mark and i headed home to Gram's house in Ebensburg to celebrate my Pap's 80th birthday. while we were in the area, and since it just so happened to be the right weekend, we spent Sunday afternoon at Mahaffey Camp with family and friends.

Mahaffey Camp has always been one of those places that feels like home, and i think by now we all know that i have some pretty complicated thoughts about that whole concept. and for as much as my thoughts like to swirl and change, i keep coming back to that baseball analogy when i think about coming home; where home can be any number of places, and the bases are the parts of life that get you from one to the other and back again. 

it wasn't until we were on our way home on Sunday night that my thoughts started to come together into anything vaguely coherent. but as we were approaching the state line, getting close to our current home, i was struck by a feeling that i was safe - that i was beyond the reach of whatever was behind me, everything i was running from. it was almost a comforting feeling, to be safe at home, but it was also a bit disconcerting considering all of the good feelings i had about the past three weekends.

i did not like the notion that for the past few years, i had been running away from the people (both friends and family) and places in my past - running away from home - but wasn't that exactly what i had done? i had avoided going back to places like Mars and Mahaffey - places that in the past i would have counted as being among my many 'homes' without hesitation. but i made excuses: it was just too far or too much hassle or i just didn't have enough time. in reality, i felt like too much had changed, and i wasnt sure how to deal with that.

so to stick with the same analogy - what is the end goal of this baseball game? because right now it feels like i'm stuck in an endless loop of base-running: circling the diamond in pursuit of home, arriving safe at home, but immediately taking off for first again towards another home, a different home. there are people i love and memories i cherish in each home, and i want to be fully present in each and every one all at the same time, but i just can't. so which one is the real home? the one where i'm really truly safe and can stop running between childhood home, highschool home, college home, my parent's home, my current home, and all of the precious people, places, and memories associated with each one?

and of course the answer just hit me - my one true home where the people who love me and the people i love most can all coexist in the same place does exist, but i am not going to find it in this lifetime or on this earth. instead, this never ending baseball game is just a holding pattern, a waiting game in anticipation of the main event, when Jesus will take His family home to heaven.

and if the past three weekends are even the teeniest glimpe into what that final homecoming is going to be like, then i can't wait to be a part of it.


nancyann said...

While reading this post this morning, Steve Curtis Chapman was singing 'Not Home Yet' on my radio.

I know there'll be a moment,
I know there'll be a place
Where we will see our Saviour and fall in His embrace
So let us not grow weary or too content to stay

'Cause we are not home yet
We are not home yet, not home yet

So let us journey on
We are not home yet, we are not home yet
So keep on looking ahead, let your heart not forget
We are not home yet, oh we are not home yet

Thanks for the revelation/reminder. There is great joy yet to come.
It was great to see you all this weekend.

Brenda's Man said...

Can I just say that you make me so proud I could cry. (Maybe I did, I'm not telling) I love you so much and am so happy with you and for you. See you in a month!

Miss Brenda said...

Okay, I DID cry. Love you.

Amanda said...

Aunt Nance - it was so great seeing you all over the weekend :)
love you all!