a house is not a home

All roads lead back to home.

It’s a great saying.  It makes me think that no matter where you go, you come home at the end of your journey.  It speaks of Dorothy, clicking her ruby slippers, repeating “there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home.”  Something special is awaiting you once you cross the threshold of your very own home sweet home.

But what happens if all roads DON’T lead back to home?  In fact, what if NO roads lead back to home? 

As I was attempting to make my way back from the other side of town this afternoon, these questions suddenly seemed deeply prophetic.  All roads to home were blocked at every intersection due to a parade.  I had to double back no less than three times to find alternate routes.  After a roundabout journey that took me within two miles from home four times before I was actually able to reach my destination, I was beginning to believe that I wasn’t meant to go home.  And then I had a moment of clarity.  A moment when I had to ask myself…“what is home?”

There is a great old song, “A House is Not a Home” by Luther Vandross.  That song popped into my head as I was driving in the rain, cursing the stupid parade for not being cancelled due to bad weather.  And I cursed the city for not putting up more signs to warn me that I would be virtually trapped on the other side of town if I dare venture out between the hours of four and six pm.  And I sang the few words to the song that I remembered, basically the “house is not a home” part, over and over again. 

And it’s true.  A house by itself is not a home.  It is just a house.  A big box with a bunch of rooms filled with a bunch of stuff.  None of those things make the house a home. 

A home has nothing to do with your address.  Or your tax bracket.  Or your decorating style.  A home is the place your heart takes you to.  A home is like an old worn out blanket that wraps you in warmth and comfort whenever you need it.  A home doesn’t mind muddy dog prints on the floor, or a few dishes in the sink, or flaking paint on the porch.  You can have the most wonderfully appointed house and still not have a home.  Not if there is no one there who loves you. 

I will no longer think of my house as an important feature in my life.  It is not my home…it is just my house.  My home will go with me wherever I may choose to go. 

My house will stay right where it is.  Cold and dark if no one is at home. 

Until the next time…I’ll be leaving a candles burning for warmth and light as winter descends on Atlanta.


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Posted on December 4, 2010 .