Almost fifteen years ago, after moving to Georgia, I was in search of a spiritual community in which to raise my children. I still recall stepping into the foyer of UUCG for the first time. The people were warm and welcoming, and the structure itself – in spite of its unassuming, modest physical characteristics – felt pleasant and inviting. I investigated Unitarian Universalism and, although I had never before read the Principles as they are formally stated, they felt familiar and very comfortable. It didn’t take long for me to know that I was Home.
Nine years ago my husband and I were ready to transition with our family from apartment living to the purchase of a home. Because of his overloaded work schedule, I was tasked with house-hunting. I remember finding the house we now live in, and entering it for the first time. In spite of the fact that it was in pre-foreclosure and had every one of the issues implied in that designation, when I walked through the door the energy of the place drew me in and enveloped me like a warm blanket. It immediately felt like Home.
I think many if not all of us have had the experience of reconnecting with a friend that we have not seen for a long period of time. Amazing how there are people with whom you feel so comfortable that you can pick up right where you left off, regardless of how many years have passed in the interim. Likewise with people whom you meet for the first time, yet feel as though you have known for a lifetime. There is an absence of awkwardness, which would seem remarkable, if the connection were not so natural and easy. I have several friends like this, and I cherish them. Getting together with them always feels like coming home.
Within the walls of my house, of my church, of my loving relationships, I feel welcomed and safe and secure. I am sheltered from the storms of life by the simple knowledge that here – in these spaces, among these people – I am home.
What is it that makes any given walls – whether literal or figurative – within which you find yourself, sheltering? What makes a place or a person or a circumstance feel like Home to you?