catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 7, Num 8 :: 2008.04.18 — 2008.05.02


Homing instinct

I am a homing woman. 

I aspire to become an inhabitant, one who knows the place, the people, the geography, the history, the economy of where I am. And I desire to dwell, to dwell deeply with people I love as co-workers of the Kingdom who can together create safe spaces for others to find rest. 

These discoveries about myself became clear when I left my home four years ago—the life and land of the high desert—to come to a place unfamiliar, all for freedom’s sake, to remake who I was. It was in the void of homelessness that I learned how I will forever carry within me the place and people of my childhood. I learned that my founding community has in many ways inescapably predestined how I see the world – it is the starting vantage point for every new perspective and idea I embody.  And all attempts to re-root myself will be an effort to re-create what I felt before: the safety, the love, the familiarity and the peace of knowing exactly where I am and who I am. My first place, my first home, in many ways will be my only home.

Now I find myself in the midst of life’s most transitional years when moving, exploring, experiencing are the most prized goods. A vagabond wind stirs my heart and soul in a restless questioning of who I am supposed to be and become. But at the same time my spirit calls out to be rooted and belong. As with plants, the most vital ingredient for this to happen is time—time to know and to be known. And so I wrestle every day with the tension of whether to leave or stay put, to settle or start over, to nest or migrate.

My greatest solace in the midst of all this uncertainty has been the discipline of keeping house. The dirty dishes, messy lawn and hungry housemates are reminders of the relationship I must cultivate with any place and people I find myself. For every home needs tending of the rooms, sidewalks and laneways to nurture and hold us in the ways we long for. These past few years have shown me that homemaking is as much a spiritual journey as it is a practical skill that embodies the fragility of life and identity.  In understanding this, the practices and habits of daily life have become signifiers of the grace and peace that come to me when I rest my head. The demands of upkeep have become pointers to the Provider who has given me a place to belong even if only for a little while.  I have learned how to add to the beauty and order of creation in my own small way, while knowing that this work is an ever-present, life-long calling. As Scott Russell Sanders puts it, “We are all amateurs when it comes to understanding our place in the web of things…. The work of belonging to a place is never finished.”

your comments

comments powered by Disqus