Yes, i've often been homesick on this trip.
The funny thing is, it is not Sugarbear i'm homesick for. Well, it is, of course. I like my home. I miss my kitties. But that is not what i'm talking about.
I think i've mentioned before that i consider "homesickness" - or at least the type i experience - as "longing for heaven."
I don't remember ever "wanting" my mama. I did not like returning home. It was not a safe place for me. Have spent my adult years creating that home, that safe place. And i like my home. I'm not agoraphobic, but i could easily become someone who never leaves home. Still, part of me can feel homesick, even when i am home.
Sometimes it is for the first cutting of hay in Montana (usually around 4th of July). Or the first feeling of crispness of fall in the air. Or the first snowfall on the Montana mountains.
Maybe because i lived in the South as a young child & have vague memories of it that are pleasant, but i often had the homesick feeling this trip. Part of it, i think, is that i'm homesick for past days: playing with cousins, running free, my grandma's garden & her fruit trees & wonderful green grapes & picking blackberries; watching my grandpa with his bees & pet coons, skunks, & crows & his gentle manner all around; listening to my cousins speak (they had the most beautiful accents that i felt i lacked after we moved to Montana) & watching my younger cousins do silly things.
The house of my B. grandparents is gone now. I see no trace of the house, their gardens, grapes or fruit trees.
There are more subtle things i miss. I remember playing in the grounds behind the house that we lived in when i was six. I say "grounds" because i don't remember it well. I think there were some scattered trees & lots of rocks. I know there were woods too, but farther back. When we found a lost dog & owners came to claim him it turned out they were true hill people ("hillbillies" is the term often used in an unkind fashion). But they saw how much i loved the dog & in simple graciousness they let me keep him. And when he was run over by a car (we lived on a busy highway) within six months i was old enough to think, "If i had let them take him, this would not have happened. Had i let them take him, he would still be alive."
I remember the fall colors in the hollow (meaning a little valley) we lived in after that house. The year i was seven. It was a furnished rented house & had many nooks & crannies & interesting things to discover. But it was the beauty of the fall colors there that i remember most. I also remember trips to & from the grandparents then. They lived in central KY & TN, & we lived in East TN. I remember visiting the Great Smoky National Park & thinking it very beautiful.
Somehow, a beautiful view, especially of trees or hills or land, that reminds me of the days when i was younger gives me a homesick feeling. It is a mysterious feeling somehow, ethereal & very difficult to describe. I understand how stories of elves & wood gnomes & fairies & mysterious folk came to be. I feel that way with beautiful woods around.
And, i believe this is a longing for heaven. A deep desire to fill a hole within that cannot be filled this side of death. Part of it is a longing for a simpler time, childhood, when i felt somewhat sheltered & things were not so hard to understand.
Jesus told us "I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, you may be also." I know some folks have taken that verse (& the one about "in my house are many mansions") very literally. That Jesus is the master builder/carpenter & is creating a home for each & every one of us. I don't know that i see it that way. If it is that way, it makes me very curious for what my home will look like. Because i am so very eclectic in my likes. I like craftsman built houses, & Tudors, & old time farmhouses, & A-frames, & Swiss chalets, & stone houses, & barn-like gambrels, & well done Spanish-stuccoes, & log cabins, & houses with dormers & gables. If God puts all those things into a home for me, it will look odd indeed. And yet, i know if God does it, it will be perfect & it will go together.
But that is not my expectation of heaven. I expect, when i reach the presence of God, i will be HOME. For the first time in my life truly HOME, & where i belong. I think, for the very first time i will not be longing for something else, something more. For the first time i will be complete.
And so, until i "meet my maker," until i have the joy & honor to be in his presence, i expect i will always be a little homesick.
P.S. I'm adding this to "Wednesday Walk" because of all my old memories. Hop on over to Lynnette's blog to check it out!