In Praise of Home


“Wishing you always, walls for the wind, a roof for the rain, and tea beside the fire. Laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all that your heart may desire.”

An Irish Blessing

The Irish. My ancestors. They sure had a way with a blessing. This one is a particular favorite. It reminds us that the important things in life are really those things that are simple. A warm fire, a hot cup of tea, and a place to call home with our loved ones near.

As we grow older, and I certainly fit into that demographic, we might think that we need to experience all the things that we haven’t had a chance to experience because of family obligation or jobs or both. We might think that fulfillment in the autumn of our lives can be found by cutting our ties of familiarity and to go traveling. We might imagine that being “fancy free” with no house, no car, devoid of responsibilities, the adventure of new places ahead of us will somehow bring us happiness.

But here’s the thing. All these things that are usually called responsibilities are also blessings. The warmth of a familiar home, a warm bed at the end of a day, the comfort of family, and lets not forget our friends, or the joy of a garden to work in and enjoy in the warm weather, or even the absolute joy of having a spare room to offer a friend or family member when one comes to visit.

In the past few years, I have thought that perhaps all these things that I see now as comforts were “tying me down”. For awhile I wasn’t even sure they were comforts. But then one day, I’m not exactly sure how I started to think this way, perhaps it was a cup of tea after a particularly long day at work, or sitting down to play my piano that I just moved back to my home after almost ten years of not having it, or a lovely evening with my son and his daughters, but I have started to realize that all the things that I had previously thought were tying me down, were really the greatest comforts and blessings of my life.  I am finding it amazingly comfortable and calming to think in this way. To think home is better than any trip to a far land. To think, an afternoon in the garden is better than any day trip. To think that a book and a cup of tea, on the couch, with my cat is a wonderful way to spend a weekend.

It’s true. My wanderlust is leaving me. I don’t care. It’s a comfort.

Happy Sunday!