they say "home is where the heart is", and as one who has done my share of moving over the years, i can attest to the truth of that statement. nevertheless, moving to a new locale is always an encounter with loss and anticipation.
living in one place for a while means having built connections and collected memories. for instance, now that i face yet another move, i think about the harbor park where i walk my dog every morning. i treasure those quiet moments: the cool bay breeze, the tree lined paths, the sea gulls and variety of other water fowl. i have also enjoyed the occasional late afternoon saunter down to the harbor, sitting by the water to read or pray. i have developed a connection to that park, and have collected many fond memories.
and while i am experiencing this sense of loss -- this mild anxiety about the closing of yet another chapter of my life, i also feel the anxiety of anticipation, wondering what lies ahead. i am at once excited and apprehensive about discovering a whole new world populated with people i have yet to know, and places i have yet to explore. weighing the trade off of beaches for waterfalls; the familiar southern horizon of sun and sky now to be dominated by hazy blue mountains; the spacious house i presently dwell in to be replaced by a three bedroom apartment, the dimensions of which i have yet to even see.
of course there is the loss of people i have come to know during my daily walks along main street, the parishioners with whom i have developed a particularly special bond, as well as long established friendships which will undoubtedly endure. yet the immediacy of physical presence will give way to the immediacy of telephone and internet. not knowing a soul where i am going, nor sure of how i will be received, also adds to the tension of loss and anticipation.
but in all this i do know the essential truth of the opening statement - "home is where the heart is". home isn't a place, not a house, not a town. home is the sense of rootedness in my origins, the feeling of centeredness within my own person, and the knowledge of the love of God which keeps me sane and secure throughout the ever-shifting sands of time. though the sense of loss and the anticipation of the unknown are real and present, i need not be overwhelmed or overanxious for these feelings will indeed pass as i inevitably ease into the newness. i have learned that home travels with me wherever i go. for who i was remains with me; who i am perseveres; and who i will be is a miracle waiting to unfold.