Gran's Apple Butter Blog

October 26, 2010

Going Home, Excerpt: Reflections (3/IV)

Filed under: Book Series,Books,Feeling Homesick,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran,Home,One Real Home — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 9:50 am

Chapter 3 – Reflections
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

When it came to homes, Gran said there were so many different kinds she could hardly keep up with all of ‘em. Some were big grandiose types you couldn’t miss, while others were more subtle, so quiet they might sneak right on by if you weren’t looking. Large or small, Gran said, our ideas of home share a lot in common around the world.

We all know what home is, or at least we think we do. It’s where we can be who-we-really-are. It’s where we can sit back and kick off our shoes. We can come and go as we please, and once we’re settled, we can welcome others in for a visit. Homes have private corners and public spaces, and it’s perfectly fine to keep it that way if we like. Home is where we find our comfort food, our soul food. We seek that comfort because it reminds us of home, just like we go home for the holidays or seek out holy places, even if it’s only once a year.

We go because we draw comfort from this other version of home. Whether we find ourselves in an old stone building with a cross on top, a spirit-crowned mosque or a circle of trees in the moonlight, these are all just ways we can connect to Home, no matter what language we’re speaking, what clothes we’re wearing, or what food we’re eating. All those paths head the same place, Gran said, and all the words they use describe the same thing – our one true home, a place of unconditional love, joy, peace, contentment, abundance, hope, trust, faith – a place where the fruit hangs heavy with ripeness on the Tree of Life, just waiting for us to make the season’s first wine.

There are as many kinds of homes as there are fruits, Gran would say. From the one we’re born in to the one we die in, from apartments and condos to trailers and teepees, from an underground burrow to a hummingbird nest, from Aunt Bess’s Sunday dinner to the Jimmy Cone on Saturday night, from Mother Earth to the universe itself. There’s the heart of home that sings in each of us, the home of our minds, and the house of consciousness we visit in our dreams.

And what about all the things we relate to home? We have home pages and homing devices and home buttons that take us to the top of a fresh, clear page, ready to begin again. We have home stretches and homecoming dances and home-based businesses and home plate and home-made-good-stuff and alley-alley-home-free. We have home schools and home rooms and home addresses and home cooking and home economics classes and homeopathic doctors (none of which was a coincidence, Gran said, because she did not believe in coincidences). We have Return To Sender when we’re no longer at this address and mail forwarding for our homes away from home. Even our GPS systems have it all figured out: We just tell ‘em to take us home.

We talk about home all the time, with ideas that stretch from the small to the all-inclusive. One word may mean both an individual structure and an entire country. Yet do we really have any idea what we’re talking about? Gran thought we did, at least somewhere way down deep. However we say the words, and whether or not we fully understand them, somehow we’ve figured out that home is wherever we are. It’s where we belong.

Always one to throw in a zinger to end a nice calm story, Gran would close with something abstract: If feeling at home was actually a state of mind, and we always are at home, because we’re really just One and there is no time or space (so there’s nowhere else to be), is it possible that all this home-sickness we’re experiencing isn’t even real? That it’s just in our minds, based on an illusion, a false sense of separation? What then?

Sometimes I wonder if Gran realized how much she disturbed my sleep patterns with questions like that…

© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010. All rights reserved. Download Chapter 1 or order your copy at!


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