Frigid cold of a New England winter punctuated by the spear of wind chill and the awesome blue of sky. Couples in a coffeehouse nestled together with brilliant smiles and soft, sustaining touch. Forts against the storms of life’s challenges. Respect spelled out in every nuanced glance and conversation wrapped around their truths. Happiness in a world of COVID, inflation, international threats and domestic violence. Gentle realities wound through the sameness and even the scourges life submits. The sense of more. More than now, more than me, more than what was and more than what is. Life affords all that and more, creates more…Last week, a young priest drew laughter from his shivering congregation with his view of the story of the Wedding Feast of Cana. His argument? That first miracle proved Catholics are not as uptight as stereotyped and stigmatized. After all, sharing the wine is what it is all about. It is all about being human and living with the idea that there is a God; there is something more.
I cannot pretend to understand the intricacies of human beings, relationships or decision-making, the rigor of the ideals and rules we set for ourselves, the ideals and expectations and the core of realities we deal with everyday. I have no rational or even plausible expalantion for the extremities of suffering people know physically, emotionally, socially. I am so uncertain as to the wide divides in perceptions and processes, procedures and possibilities. I wonder at the diversities in how we each define justice and fairness for all, equity on personal and communal bases, and how power is wielded and negotiated within interactions between persons and social structures. Somehow, in spite of all that, and living the conviction that life is so very difficult for even the bravest and most savvy among us, it seems to me there is a place in this world for each of us, a home where respect and acceptance are abundant and where there is rest from the infinite rigors of living. Home is the place for healing and hope, honesty and truth. Home is about welcoming the weary and wearing the moment just as it is without embellishment of masks, pretending or omitting, hiding or fearing. It is the ultimate space for recognizing what is and trusting, believing in the more. Home is the more.
Home is not bound to walls or territories, not confined by physical boundaries. It exists within the human spirit and rests richly within fragments of time, standing firm against the cruelty of circumstances and finding a harbor in memory and heart. Life unfolds triumphs and tragedies with an exhiliaration and intensity unimaginable. Home is the place where those are sorted out, reinterpreted, somehow understood and acted upon. Home is what the young priest described with joy in his assessment of Cana; home is what exists between the couples cradling precious moments between them, fashioning one another’s lives with gentleness and the certainty of deeper truths. Home affords us the chance to bundle up against the cold of New England winters and the challenges of life, and it is also the place where we can be most who we are…for self and one another.