Monday, May 16, 2011

Home is where aliens hang their beads.

I've been waxing philosophical lately and felt sure you're dying to hear all about it.

I posted this picture on my FB wall a while back showing how my husband hung the random strand of green Mardi Gras in our new house. They used to hang from one of the ceiling beams in our old house...for no reason at all.

One friend made a joke about how I should just hang beads on all the banister rails. So I did. And another friend said "home is where you hang your beads". Little did she know that I've been mulling over that concept for quite some time now. Not the concept about hanging your beads but the concept of home.

Where is home? And what is it? What do people say about home? My extensive research (5 minutes on Google) shows these results:
  • Home is where the heart is.
  • Home is where you hang your hat.
  • You can never go home again.
  • Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
  • A man's home is his castle.
And now we can add to that, "Home is where you hang your beads". I am going to carve that on a plaque and hang it in my foyer, giving full credit to its wise author.

So this whole "home" concept has been on my mind lately probably because we just relocated to Houston. I was born in Wichita Falls, Texas and lived there for the first 36 years of my life. That was home and I thought it always would be. Then my husband found out that if he wanted to keep his job he would have to relocate to Lafayette, Louisiana. My first thought was, "It could be worse. It could be Oklahoma." So I did my adaptable wife thing as we moved to Lafayette and spent the next 9 years in the Bayou.

It was during our time in Lafayette (which I loved and miss terribly) that I began to get confused about "home". Whenever I would talk about visiting my family back in Wichita Falls, I would refer to it as home. As in, "We're going home for Christmas this year."

But while we were in Wichita Falls, we would talk about going back home to Lafayette. For example, "It's been great but we have to get back home now." (Because you people are going insane and we don't want you to take us with you. Bless your hearts.)

So which one is home? I came to the brilliant (in my opinion) conclusion that for me, home is wherever I'm not. Home is the place I'm always going to but I never actually get there.

That might sound sort of sad but it's really not. I'm not wandering around feeling homeless and constantly in search of where I belong, and I'm certainly not trying to "find myself". There's just too much 'self' in all that. I view it along the lines as the saying that life is a journey, not a destination. Who said that? Ah, Google tells me it was Ralph Waldo Emerson. I'm too lazy to read the context of the quote but I'm sure it was brilliantly thought provoking or even borderline life changing. Or whatever.

I was talking to a friend a while back about how I always have this feeling that I don't belong. It doesn't matter where I am, there's always this slightly uncomfortable 'you don't belong here' feeling underneath everything else. If I ever dwelt on it I'm sure I could work myself into a full blown middle school panic attack and never leave my house again. But I don't dwell on it simply because I really don't have the attention span to dwell on much of anything.

Anyway, while talking to this friend I told her that I thought maybe it's because we (meaning Jesus loving people like us) really don't belong on this earth. We were created for an eternal life that we will someday have and our time here on earth helps to prepare us for that. Somehow. It's not always clear but I have lots of faith that God knows what He's doing. So maybe my niggling sense of not belonging and of feeling like I'm never really at home is just God's way of reminding me not to get too comfortable with my life on this earth because it's just a temporary layover on that journey that Ralph talked about. My real life, my destination, is yet to come.

As I was explaining all these philosophies to my Jesus loving friend, she nodded if not in agreement then at least in understanding. When I finished she said, "Or maybe you're an alien. Out of all my friends, you would definitely be the one most likely to be an alien."

I think I cracked up and blew coffee out of my nose then I thanked her because that was just the best compliment EVER!


SkylersDad said...

Home is where the aliens return you after you've been probed.

Shannon Green said...

So if I'm am alien that makes me the prober instead of the probee, right? I was trying to decide which would be better but there's really no pleasant end on that stick.

Houseplaqueman said...

Carved plaques with "Home is where you hang your beads" - could start a whole new industry!