Letting Go of Home

Untethered, my life drifts loose, away from a familiar horizon. Since saying yes to names on a piece of paper, names listed in print under the letters B-u-y-e-r, our family home has hung suspended in a legal state called “under contract.” It’s still ours, but new names are beginning the process of calling it. Inside it still, we are disconnected and restless. The ropes that bound have given way, and we begin the gradual drift away.

Other life tethers are loosening. Moorings slacken. Change is afoot. Change can be a good horizon, I tell myself, but I can’t seem to adjust to these diminishing knots, this untangling rope and ambiguous future. When did I attach myself so tightly to my life? When had I said it should all stay the same and never change? When did place get to be such solace and comfort?

Summer is no help, summer with its abandon of routine, waking when daylight rouses, eating when stomachs sound the alarm. The clock governs little but boredom, an impatient tapping of the foot to remind me time is groaning slowly on and inside it we are restless, adrift on the day, floating slowly away from the calendar, the start times and end times that pack our hours neatly into boxes.

Into cardboard boxes I pack the things I don’t need: the blue water pitcher, the garlic press, the extra blankets … an address, a place, a need to know where I’ll wake up in a month. If I could see where we’re drifting, get a handle on how far and which direction, I’d feel less unsure about it all. The tape I stretch over the box would feel removable and temporary, less like the sealing of a time capsule.

If God’s fingers have stirred these waters, what is he up to exactly? And where are the thrill of surprise, the spirit of adventure, the joy of being free and open? There was a time we groaned towards an island off the coast of Honduras as a potential home. Yes, I remember. We’ve been here before. We got ready to go and waited for a signal that never clearly came. Perhaps we fell asleep while waiting, got busy keeping time, and now we stir to a shift in the winds. Old questions reveal their hiding places at the chance of a journey into uncharted waters. This letting go of home may be more than a move to something roomier. Perhaps it’s into something deeper. So we resist the urge to moor ourselves back to the same piling and let the current pull us away. Let it go. Let the rope drop into water that hides its depths. Watch it float then sink slowly out of sight as the sun shoots morning’s first rays over the far horizon.