When a Place Becomes Home

Late October evenings and afternoons (the times I normally write) are always taken up with costume sewing (my only sewing in two years) and playoff baseball. That is why I have been fairly silent on my blog these days. But we have been going full steam ahead with life and discovering that we are fairly busy. I have a lot of random things I am thinking about writing, but I a hoping to come up with something that is not random. 

When I wrote about traveling a lot the other week, I did not mention the idea that my husband and I have about “home places”. A home place is a place that feels like home for some significant reason; most of my home places are places I have close family that I visit frequently or places I have lived. My first home place was St. Louis, which was followed closely by my grandparents town on the West side of Cleveland. Every time I drive into there neighborhood, I am flooded with the familiar feelings of being somewhere that I know and love. We have a lot of home places. In college, Steubenville became a home place. I did not plan on spending two summers there when I first arrived, but because I did I spent the bulk of four years living there. While I was in college my husband’s (then boy friend and then fiance) home town in Michigan became a home place. Then together Buffalo, NY became our first married home place; going back again was like going home. But when we came back to St. Paul, approaching the city, and coming into our driveway, we found home again.

As a kid I never thought I would want to live anywhere, but St. Louis. When friends moved away, I always thought that I would never want to. Then I decided to go away to college, and now I live in Siberia Minnesota. Sometimes I get my life confused with the second sister in Fiddler on the Roof.

“And he asks you join him in that frozen wasteland?” 
“No, Papa, I want to go! I want to help him in his work.”
I wonder what makes a place home? Is is being with the people there, or is it the actual place? Maybe it is both. The places that I think of as home are places where I have spent meaningful time. The places are only great places in my mind and meaningful to me, because they have been made meaningful. Buffalo is meaningful because it is where my first two children were born, where I was a newlywed, and where I made my first friends as an adult. We are body and soul, and when we live in places our whole person lives there. I love St. Louis, because of the physical place, but also because it is where I was formed as young girl. 
Sometimes when I think about Heaven, I have a hard time imagining being there, especially as a separated soul. We are meant to be both body and soul, and I think that our Earthly homes must prefigure our Heavenly Home to some extent. And then today is the Feast of All Saints, and at Mass there was a description of Heaven:

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.” -From Revelations 7

 Heaven is being united in love to God and others, so places that are our homes are where we have experienced love. Does that sound right? I cannot exactly grasp what Heaven will be like, but if I God in His great mercy takes me to Heaven, it will be the best home place I have ever experienced.