We can’t go back home. . .

“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing’s sake, back home to aestheticism, to one’s youthful idea of ‘the artist’ and the all-sufficiency of ‘art’ and ‘beauty’ and ‘love,’ back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, to the cottage in Bermuda, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, 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.”
― Thomas Wolfe

DSCN2217
(kitchen window at Dad’s, my childhood home which has also changed / Julie Cook / 2013)

There is only one thing in life that is certain, other than death and taxes, and that is change.
Change is the only one true constant in life.
A constant state of flux with an undulating fluid forward motion
Growing
Shrinking
Evolving
Morphing
Changing
Nothing stays as we once knew it to be.

And yet, everything, everything that was, everything that helped to define us, that comforted us, that taught us, and nurtured us, is trapped in a static time warp buried protectively deep in the recesses of our mind.
Where it all stays nice and safe.
Safe from progress,
from age,
from growing,
from dying,
from changing

And so it is, when we travel back–back to that place where we were who we were before now. To the place that was and and to the place where everything was and in our memories remains safe.
To the place that was familiar and warm.
To the place that knew us and accepted us for who we were, for what we were, which at that time, was not very much at all.
Not like today.
Not like we are now. . .
For we are no longer that person, the person we once recognized as simply ourselves.
For we are now an important person, a busy person, an adult person, a tired person, a stressed person, a lost person, a new person, a bruised person, a broken person.
And yet all we want, all we long for, is to go back, back home.
To the place that was.
To that place that knew us and we knew it.

Yet looking around at the now grossly unfamiliar, the vaguely familiar, the surreal familiar. . .
as in. . .it all looks oddly familiar yet now oddly different. . .
as in. . .we once knew that this one particular road would take us here and that one particular road would take us there, but this road, this new road of today. . . where will it lead?
No longer will we be going where we thought we were going.
The hometown, the place where we thought we would recognize some minuscule tiny remaining fragments, there is now sadly, oddly more new than old.
The familiar has been:
Torn down.
Built up.
As in. . .
It’s all bigger
It’s all smaller
It’s moved
It’s shut down
It’s repurposed
It’s expanded
It’s grown
It’s crowded
It’s now all so complicated.
So different.

We now find ourselves sad, melancholy and aching for something that is now tangibly long gone. . . lost to the ebb and flow of the changing tides of life.
We desperately seek comfort and solace, we need to be embraced, remembered, taken in to the fold one last time–
For isn’t that what home, the hometown, the childhood is all about?
Acceptance, comfort, solace, a warm embrace, the familiar. . .
And then, as if out of no where we hear a voice, a soothing comforting voice.
A voice that is Love personified.
A voice that sounds familiar and speaks to us in tender familiar tones.
A voice that knows us.
As in knows our inner being, the good, the secret, the bad.
A voice that knew us back then and acceptingly knows us now.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
(Isaiah 43:1)

A familiar sounding voice that calls out in the now cold and unfamiliar, and tells us, tells me, that we are, that I am, claimed. We, you, I, are all acknowledged, remembered. . .in all of the unfamiliar, in all of the longing for what was and is frustratingly no longer, a voice that offers a welcome, an embrace, a welcome home, has thankfully called out to you and to me and has claimed us as His own.
Welcome Home.
Hallelujah!!

3 comments on “We can’t go back home. . .

  1. Lynda says:

    Julie, it is so true that we can never go back anywhere for we are always changing but the only totally stable essence in the entire universe is the love of God for each of God’s creatures. My desire is that everyone on earth would recognize and accept this unconditional love and live knowing that God journeys with them and they need not be afraid of anything. What God said to Jeremiah, God says to each of us ““Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” (Jeremiah 1:5)

  2. Speechless. You’ve left me speechless again! Like a pinball machine hitting all the sweet spots you rolled right over realiy after reality that’s common to all of us, and you did it with such touching poignancy. Then you closed it with a stroke of genius giving us solace from Scripture. Man oh man what a ride this one was. It was just stunningly excellent! Hugs, N 🙂 ❤

    • Thank you Natalie–your praise humbles me—-this is what happens when I go back, not just back home, but back to an Atlanta I no longer recognize!!! Progress is all fine and good, but to lose most of one’s charm and what made “it” it, is hard to watch. . .and yet, there will always be the familiar in the everlasting and loving Father who will always know us by name 🙂
      stay warm!!!!!
      cookie

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