“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Where does a journey really begin?
Life is rarely portioned out in neat chapters with catchy titles. Sometimes a page is clearly turned…. wedding, birth, death, graduation, but most transitions are more subtle than that. A new job busily blends into a new house which even busier melts into a new hobby which only adds more busyness and the days weave their way into years. How often does a person actually get a knock on the door and an invitation to an adventure?
My days used to be very busy. College at age 17, finished in three years. Then ten more years of far-beyond-full-time medical training followed by five years of 70+ hour a week jobs. When my son was born, and I cut my work hours down to 45 a week in order to have time to be a no-nanny, no-housekeeper mom it actually felt like a real break. More than a decade and a half of hectic, chaotic busyness. Then when my son was 12 months old, I finally got a knock on the door.
Adventure? Yes, now five years later I suppose that I can say that cancer was a sort of adventure. It was certainly an unexpected journey. It took me through mountains and valleys, along the way forcing me to shed so many layers of my life. I lost much more than just my breasts or my hair… one by one my job, my house, my marriage, my health and my independence all fell by the wayside. I slowly lost almost everything the hectic, chaotic busyness had ever earned. Finally I was left with only my son and myself, and a long path stretched ahead before I could ever think of talking of there and back again.
After all, where is back again? If the journey truly only started at the day of my cancer diagnosis, then going back again would be to that day-before-the-knock. Now, having been there, and having covered all the ground and shed all the baggage just to survive to here, I’m convinced that I never want to go back again. I have no wish to travel back to the land of hectic, chaotic busyness. I want to travel to a new place. A place where I can raise my son, and re-raise myself to live a more timeless life.
I wish to journey to a refuge of wholesome food, healthful environment, and sustainable living. To rest my family in a place of songs, poetry, fellowship and faith. I wish to find a Last Homely House right here where I rest my feet and lay my head.
I have decided that this journey is one I have already been on without even knowing it. My own knock at the door of this adventure was sometime far in the past, but now that I am free of much busyness I can finally see the adventure for what it truly is. This journey will require many changes. I’m sure there will be mountains and valleys ahead. I will, no doubt, have to lose more things along the way, but an unexpected journey is usually worth it.
You are cordially invited to join the adventure and to rest yourself for a few moments anytime you like in Our Last Homely House, here in creation right before your eyes.