Taking Home With Me

Monday, March 29, 2010

On a recent visit to National Futures Association, I could have walked right into my office and gone to work. Well, I would have had to displace the lawyer who was sitting at my desk and enjoying my view of the Chicago River, but everything else was much the same. My former colleagues were dealing with the same people and the same issues, the same legislation was pending in Congress, and I even heard some of the same complaints. Of course, I had only been gone for two-and-a-half months, and the regulatory world tends to move slowly anyway.

And yet, everything was different because NFA no longer felt like home. Nor did I want it to. On January 1st, I moved on. My new workplace is now home, and it just feels right. (Okay, so it is also in my home. But it is the situation, not only the place, that feels right.)

Thomas Wolfe wrote a semi-autobiographical novel called You Can't Go Home Again. I haven't read the book, but the title has become a cliche for the idea that things will never again be the way they once were. Especially in your home town.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I grew up in a village on the eastern tip of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. When I returned to DeTour (shown in the picture) in 1995, I discovered that our old parsonage had been turned into a pizza parlor. The raised front porch had been enclosed, and both the porch and living room were filled with tables. Although we usually ate in the kitchen when I was a child, we did sometimes eat in the living room while watching a favorite TV show. As an adult, I consumed my meal in much the same location, but it wasn't my mother's cooking and I was surrounded by strangers. Everything was different and, in Thomas Wolfe's sense, I couldn't go home again.

Nor did I want to. Why should I care if my childhood home was a pizza parlor? The memories are good, but I don't live there anymore. As I grew up, I changed and moved on. Home is wherever I am at the time.

Like a turtle or a snail, I carry my home with me. And that's the way it should be.


Linda Glaz said...

Awww, anybody who grew up in the UP is okay. What a peaceful, lovely place for memories.

patti said...

The UP is gorgeous! And I love the loons...

Sigh. What truth lies in your statement that those of us in Christ must be prepared to give up that earthly home and go where he would have us to go.

Beautiful post.

Post a Comment