Just the other day came across this sign: “If home is where the heart is, then my home is where you are”. I love that sentiment, which uses that well known saying “home is where the heart is”.
These days it is so much easier to experience “home”, even when, due to work and study, one is not always to be found under that same roof. My ladies right now are crossing the skies between St Paul MN. and Costa Rica, and yet they manage to follow a children story shared in Stanborough Park Church in Watford UK. How small this world has become….and yet….
Yes, George Washington, about 200 years ago, would travel from Virginia to Washington DC. on horseback, taking him 10 days. His travelling speed was 25 miles per day. Astronauts today travel in the Space Shuttle with speeds over 25000 miles an hour! In this Shuttle Washington today would have taken approximately 40 seconds to get to the capital… Distance seems relative….and yet….
Googling the saying this is what I found…. “What is the meaning of ‘home is where the heart is’? People long to be at home. Your home is whatever place you long to be. Your home will always be the place for which you feel the deepest affection, no matter where you are.”
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit my parents who live in the Netherlands. For most of their lives they have lived in Enschede, my place of birth. Many of my childhood memories, often food for thought in my sermons, saw the light of day in that town. At previous visits I had wanted to visit some of the places that still linger in my memories… My primary school… Secondary school…. The high rise building we lived in…. My father’s football club…. My grandparents’ home while they were alive, and where I was born… The rail tracks… Each visit proved too short to see this happen.
But two weeks ago I finally got the chance to make it happen. As my father recovered from a hip replacement surgery, I found time to drive around my old childhood neighbourhood. In my memories everything looked big and wide. But as I looked upon my early childhood schools they seemed tiny..
Yet it was here where I “invented” the skateboard long before it became fashion in California.. Crashing through windows, ending up in the sandpit of our playground. Where police found me (and the more wisely hidden rest of the troops) on top of the school roof, not ratting on them but taking the stern talk on my own. The main play ground still there, and the tree…which did not give as I “practised” my Judo skills on a bully…and resulted in my expulsion from the club… The high rise building, in the Meteoren Straat (Meteor Street), where I learned what it means to discriminate people from other cultures. The steps down to the storage cubicles, which really “tested” my skills with matches… It was all there…and for a moment, as I sat there in the sun, it almost felt “home” again…. For a moment my mind, and with that my heart, travelled back in time…
Over the years my/our home has seen different places… Enschede (NL), Hengelo (NL), Zeist (Oud-Zandbergen NL), Binfield (UK), Helmond (NL), Eindhoven (NL), Binfield again (UK), Wooburn Green (UK)….and for some part now also St Paul MN (USA)… And it is there that in a couple of days I will truly experience “home” again as I think it was meant to be…the place where I feel the deepest affection! Not so much for the apartment, even though it is beautiful and spacious…. Not so much for the rich culture of native Americans and the beautiful vistas, even though I enjoy them very much…. Not so much for the awe inspiring American trucks you see everywhere, even though in my mind I still dream of becoming a truck driver… But simply for the fact that it is there that my heart fits in perfectly because it is home! Home is where I am with my wife and daughter…can’t wait 🙂