“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.” – “You Can’t Go Home Again.” – Thomas Wolfe
I now have something which seemed like a distant horizon not so long ago. Charlotte and I have airline tickets to Phoenix where awaits my car to finish the journey, my home, my bed, six impossible cats who own my heart, and most of all my wife.
“Home” is a state of mind. It is the place where there is a reasonable expectation that things are as they should be, or at least attainable. I have been in Michigan for most of the summer and early fall, and I am surrounded by people who love me. Everything I need is at my disposal, I want for nothing. I know my way around familiar streets and I notice the unexpected presence of businesses and buildings that weren’t here when this was “home.” But it no longer is. And even if I were to move back here, I could not return to the “home” that I once knew. That state of mind has passed away, as it certainly should.
Home will be found again in our little house in Arizona filled with the things that make it more than a mere dwelling. And I do so long to be back there. And yet, I will not find the home I left. It will certainly become “home” again, but it will never be “. . . the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time.” These are the musings of one whose life has been more than half lived, for whom the inevitability of change has seeped into his very bones.
Is this a melancholy surrender to these feelings? It can be, but it certainly needn’t be. For with the perspective of time and an understanding of the transient nature of all that surrounds us, we can turn forward in anticipation of joys yet to unfold, of loves awaiting our arrival. For those like us whose faith is in God, we can affirm that “it was good, it is good, and good it shall ever be.”