Longing for Home

Today I am experiencing a deep longing.  Two weekends ago, I went on a writer’s retreat in Rockport, Massachusetts (blog post forthcoming) with my Hutchmoot pals, Jen and Chris.

Motif #1, the most famous landmark in Rockport

Motif #1, the most famous landmark in Rockport

The retreat was excellent and was very helpful for me as a new writer.  I think, however, what I really needed more than the advice and knowledge I gained from the retreat, was the fellowship of my friends.

The three of us live in totally different places and are separated by over a thousand miles from north to south, and really our little gang of Weird Rabbits isn’t truly complete without my husband, Ryan, and Jen’s sister, Sherri.  But even in this tiny reunion, that little taste of sweet fellowship the three of us shared was cool water to my parched soul.  On Saturday, we slipped out of the retreat for an adventure in Rockport, making a pilgrimage to T. S. Eliot’s “Dry Salvages.” I treasured every second.  Walking along the beach, cold wind in my face, warm sun on my back, breathing in the salt air, I felt more at ease than I had in months.  We walked along until we found some large rocks to sit on and soak in the glorious afternoon sun.  While we were on no mountain, I was having a “mountain top” experience on that rock.  I sat with my arms wrapped around these two friends, feeling the Spirit move over us in the breeze.  I was home.

That little line of rocks is T. S. Eliot's "Dry Salvages

That little line of rocks is T. S. Eliot’s “Dry Salvages”

Chris and Jen have both written about a sense of place and longing for a home you’ve never seen.  I’ve felt both of those things significantly over the past two years.  I’ve learned more and more that home for me is not a place.  Home is people.  People that I love, people that by some miraculous grace return that same affection for me, people that understand and accept me for exactly who I am.  It’s not my love for Nashville and my Tennessee homeland that makes Hutchmoot a home for me.  We could have Hutchmoot in Antarctica and I would still be at home, as long as I am surrounded by the sweet community I’ve found in The Rabbit Room.  It wasn’t the drum roll of beautiful waves on the shoreline and the cool breeze tousling my hair in Rockport; it was the presence of my dear friends.  I ache for our next reunion.  This longing isn’t a bad thing; it is a drawing in, a beckoning of our Creator to a greater understanding of His Kingdom.  Andrew Peterson calls it a “window in the world,” a glimpse of the

Rockport Rock with Chris, Jen, and me

Rockport Rock with Chris, Jen, and me | Photo courtesy of Chris Yokel

divine wedding feast to be revealed.

It’s a window in the world
A little glimpse of all the goodness getting through
And all along the way
The days are made of little moments of truth
–Andrew Peterson, “Windows in the World”

Sitting on that rock with two of my best friends was a window for me.  Enjoying their company was a glimpse of the goodness of the Kingdom getting through, like sunlight pouring through the window panes.  I savored that moment of truth with them.  I’m still savoring it.  I’m longing for a home I’ve not seen before, but have experienced just the same.  Wherever life may take me, I know that we will all be feasting at that table together.  Then truly, we will be home.

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About The Nerdy Blogger

Ashley Whitehead Thomas is The Nerdy Blogger. She holds a B. A. in English Literature from Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee and began her M. A. at Signum University in Spring 2013. Ashley blogs, reads, writes (for fun and for hire), and spends time with her husband, Ryan, and their two cat-monsters, Luna and Oliver.
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7 Responses to Longing for Home

  1. bren1756 says:

    Ah, Ashley, me too! I share your longing for just a little more of home. My friend, Larry Crabb, is always talking about the deepest longings in our soul that can never fully be satisfied until heaven, and the lyrics to Martyr’s Song (Todd Agnew) remind me that my “greatest joy on earth is just a taste.” So bring on the appetizers while we wait and long for the feast to come!

    • That is a beautiful metaphor, Brenda. I love the quote from C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

      We are made for another world and these amazing and beautiful things we experience here are but a shadow and a copy. Hard to imagine as they are so good. I am so grateful.

  2. travels with mary says:

    I love how home is definitely the people you’re with but there’s also the beauty of the geography mixed underneath– it sounds like an amazing weekend and I can’t wait to hear about the writer’s retreat!

  3. George says:

    Just in case you need some more great Lewis quotes (and who doesn’t), here’s two more:

    “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!” The Last Battle

    “The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.” Till We Have Faces

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