This morning I heard a report about families in Santa Rosa putting up Christmas trees in the places their homes once stood. Because they are working-class families, some without homeowners insurance, rebuilding may not happen for some time. The interviewer spoke with Lily and her dad as they set up their Christmas tree in a burnt out space that was their home. She crawled under it, looked up and said, “Makes me feel like our house is still standing. It’s not like we can’t ever see our house again. It will always be there. You just can’t see it, but I can feel it.”
That sense of home is what you want children to feel. It grounds them in times of trouble. And once they leave home, it calls them back.
Today my children are on their way home. Each one is in the process of learning and growing. On their own. Finding passions to pursue.
For now, home is where they grew up and the holiday provides permission to pause and reconnect with that physical space. The house will fill up beyond capacity. They will rub against each other and figure out how to fit together. As they grow and their sense of home evolves, I wonder, what will stay in their hearts. What will they carry on?
Today I celebrate homecoming. If not for them for me.