Most everyone speaks of home, especially at this season, as the place we want to be. want to gather. want to savor. We sing about it in carols…portray it in Christmas cards…plan festivities in it. But in this annual rush of holly-scented adrenaline, how often do we pause to reflect not Where is home, but Why is home? Why does our very DNA seem to connect with certain places and not others?
The answer is a moving target. It pretty much depends on When you ask the question. When you are a youngster filled with the awe of the season, home is wherever mom and dad are. They and their loving fussing is what home is for you. When an adolescent percolating with the need to find your own way, Christmas at home with the folks may run second after the big bash planned with your peers. Later when you have yourself become a parent, home is that aura you are now busy trying to create.
To GIs far from home during some ugly war, home becomes almost mystical in your mind as you conjure up red and green images of those faraway days of yore. Trees, mangers, gifts, turkey and all those faces you once took for granted now leap into Promethean proportions in your cathedral of memories. Home is never so celestial as when you’re not able to be there.
Here’s the point that you know as well as I. Home is a feeling, a stirring, a yearning for the safety and security we all silently crave. Only at this special time of year we can speak of it out loud without embarrassment. Because after all, everyone around you is too. Is becoming a Bob Cratchit insetad of an Ebeneezer Scrooge. Which, we might all agree, is a perfectly fine feeling to have. To hold. To share. To sing. To smile. To even cry warm tears about.
Thank God if you still remember how to cry warm tears about it.
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