We returned home tonight from a week-long visit to my parents’ home where I grew up. We enjoyed a wonderful holiday with family and friends and basked in the warmth of that place and the people in it. I had very much been looking forward to the trip, for many reasons. I had been feeling under the weather and there had been some other stressors that had exhausted me thoroughly. Having recently moved to a new place, I also had felt somewhat adrift as far as community goes and I was hungry for connection with people who loved me and knew me. I felt excited for some mommy support—others to play with my kids and read to them and patiently answer their questions. All of my eager anticipation was met with an abundance of family support and love. The week we spent together was soul-filling and strengthening.
By the week’s end, I felt more whole and I was ready to return to “real life.” I knew what would be waiting for me when we returned home. Three loads of laundry that were still covering the couch and waiting to be put away. An empty fridge. Toys still strewn across the house. Interrupted sleep and early mornings. And an endless vista ahead of me of caring for my small family. What I did not expect to be waiting for me was the aura that hit me in the face when I walked in the door. And no, thankfully, it was not a strange smell (at least not this time.) As I entered our home tonight, I was completely overcome by a sense of peace–deep, profound peace. And I was completely saturated with light. Upon my return to our home I was met by the same things I had left here seeking one week ago. Love, warmth, acceptance, refuge, peace, relief. I had returned to my very own haven.
The experience struck me in some profound ways and caused me to reflect on why I don’t always perceive these things in the environment that surrounds me. It seems that often I get so caught up in the minute details and stressors of my work in building and creating this family that I sometimes fail to see the stunning picture of what is really happening here. But I am staring it face to face tonight, and I recognize that I live on sacred ground. This place is hallowed. In this home souls are nurtured, bodies nourished, wounds bound up, and fertile minds encouraged. The work of creation is ongoing in this place. Life is created here. Family bonds that will strengthen us for years to come. Memories that will sustain in dark times. A haven that will remain vibrant inside of us even after we have each moved on to new experiences, and my children have become parents of their own children. What we are in the process of creating in this home, minute by humble minute, is sacred and life sustaining. And this is hallowed ground.
I know that this week will start at a running pace first thing tomorrow. That my toddler will wake me before 6 am with the words “I’m hungry. I want some food.” That I will spend the rest of the day getting us back into our routine and answering the question of “why??” 1,526 times before bed. And I know that this blessed and exhausting routine will not let up, even for a second. But I hope that I can maintain the sense of stillness that I felt tonight and an awareness of the anointing that I am under. For the work of a mother is truly sacred. And her workplace is hallowed ground.