There is a certain solitude to the restlessness of autumn, a certain way in which the brilliance of color announces itself and the softness of rain wraps leaves to asphalt. There is a stillness in it, a kind of quiet, and the calendar days fade into one another as the maples and oaks press their skeleton frames to the sky. There are endings, intimate and inevitable, wrapped into each moment as the very earth plunges into the hibernation of winter. the cycle itself speaks of so much about human life and being, about home and becoming at home.
A home is more than a physical location; it is the consistency of an individual with all the aspects of self, the awareness of the mosaic of experiences that shape every interaction, and the consciousness that there is always something greater than self that we are all part of. For some, that integration occurs early and almost whimsically; for others, it is a lifelong struggle to find the space where we are truly ourselves. That IS home, that space where there is consistency in self: in thought and action; in emotion and choice; in expression and interaction; in solitude and in crowds. It is a tall order that asks more of self than we imagine. It means both breaking away from expectations and building new ones with courage and honesty. It means knowing strengths and weaknesses of self, becoming independent and being able to be interdependent. Finding that place is not permanent; but like the cycle of the seasons, it can be reborn over and over.
Home is living the truth of who we are with grace and graciousness. Home does not deny any aspect of self. It welcomes every experience, survives every suffering, exposes every need, dares every hope. Home provides comfort and support, but it demands growth and action and trust, the ability to trust self and others, to believe that self is worthy and lovable, and that others are lovable and worthy as well.
In the midst of darkness, the liturgical year is coming to its end and there is the sense of finality, a final judgment in the readings, the end time. Perhaps, though, it is also a time of coming home, of realizing our truths and making our choices and discovering that we are loved in ways we cannot begin to know. And yet, the messages are there, in the divinity of Autumn’s brilliance and the capacity of the seasons for rebirth, growth and change. All of that exists in each of us: all of us have the chance to shape a home where truth and honesty are the drivers of all else, and the grace of interaction becomes a dance of revelation about life and love. Home is the space we reach when love has found us, and we have found and recognized love as Love, a fragment of the sacredness that animates the universe. And so we are promised that love goes on and on in the homes of our hearts and lives.