Coming home

Where is home for you?

What does it look like? Is it defined by people, place or inner space?

First thing in the morning I often take a run down the valley out to the road in the village.

This morning in the damp Welsh mist after a night of heavy rain, the air is scented lush green. Droplets hang on the edge of conifer branches, and the ground has this distinctive ‘after the rain’ smell.

I’m caught up in this as the lane opens out into the steep fields of a neighbouring farm, and I approached the turnaround point by our gate.

And then it all changes.

Coming home is different.

The light shifts and I am running into the folds of the valley. The trees are much bigger seen this way, no longer just a green tunnel enclosing the lane.

Noise shifts too. Taking the slight bend in the lane as it comes around the hillside, the sound of water pounding down the water-steps focuses my attention.

This is the quintessential reminder of being here for me. There is always the sound of moving water in the valley.

And while today is unusual for an early July morning. Here it is in full force.

This makes the run up the steep hill to the farmhouse pass quickly. Thankfully.

I am home.

Come home to yourself

This week the draw of coming home has been more than a physical place, as lovely as it is.

It’s been the recognition that there is somewhere in myself where I belong. I don’t have to earn permission to be here, or wait to be invited in.

This place isn’t perfect – I am still becoming – but it fits and holds both the sunny and shadow aspects of who I am.

And here’s the thing – there is space here for me to explore and grow. To recognise the essence of who I am and how I am part of something so much bigger than myself.

This is an amazing thought – that coming home is both a personal space and a collective belonging.

Home it’s not singular and isolated. It is connected. It has its place, nested within the broader environment.

Like our valley within the quilted landscape of the upper Gower.

John O’Donohue‘s blessing – which I know I’ve used before – is a lovely prayer for welcoming us home.

To come home to yourself

May all that is unforgiven in you,
Be released.

May your fears yield
Their deepest tranquilities.

May all that is unlived in you,
Blossom into a future,
Graced with love.

John O’Donohue, Benedictus – a Book of Blessings, Bantam Press, 2007

May you enjoy the invitation to come home to yourself wherever you are and whatever you are going through.

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