The Power of Going Home

Jul 25, 2011
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Everybody has a place that they can call home; whether it be a traditional sort with a white picket fence or not, home can be found anywhere that your heart snuggles into. Throughout your life you are more than likely to call several places home without really stopping to think about what that actually implies, and less likely to call places home that actually are.

I have been privileged enough to generate multiple kinds of homes, some of which in the most unlikely of places. I have found a home in a crayon box colored apartment building where I was welcomed as the only native English speaker. I have found a home near a small market in one of the most polluted, noisy, and smelly places on earth. I have found a home reading picture books on the couch with my two-year-old niece. But, by far, the most formative and loving home that I have ever known was that of the neighborhood pool of where I grew up.

I have always known this, seeing as there are little tiny pieces of my heart fluttering all over this place; however, it wasn’t until returning back to it this week that I was able to recognize the warmth and wellness that this particular splashy home gives to me.

Being invited for a barbeque, I arrived early for a change. My heart must have been excited to get there. I was welcomed and embraced with smiles and gestures of encouragement and hope. I was able to feel all of time stand still for me for a moment or so while I observed those once-children, now-grown-ups chattering about their college woes and reminiscing about all of those old memories that were created by this very special pool community. Every one of us there could open up a little piece of ourselves to one another in great comfort and pride.

Gazing about the picnic tables piled with towers of foods, I realized that these people—some still living in the neighborhood and others, like me, who had moved on—still wandered back to this scene because of the home that we had all made for ourselves there. Long after the sun went down and babies had been put to rest, those memories and moments still emanated from each of us as we stalled, realizing how hard it was going to be to say goodbye.

However, after hugs and promises of another tomorrow with these unlikely housemates, I left the barbeque to drive back to my true home. After unlocking the door and switching on the kitchen light, I looked around to a home that both looked and felt much different than the pool party that I was at just moments before.

With a tired smile, I became instantly aware of all those various homes that I have found in my life; all of which have led me to this one with the bright orange painted walls, unruly wildflowers and similar grasses, irritatingly missing gutters, and graceful deer skipping through the back in search of a meal.

I was now home, once again.

Author: Ryan McLean



  • Sandy-barnes

    U know u meet people in ur life and some come and go, Ryan on the otherhand is
    someone u never want to let go of… We all have pain, sorrow, tragedy and disappointments
    in our lives but God has truely Blessed this girl to stand up and face her difficulties, tragedy,
    pain, and life changing moments. There is no better role model for my children, friends and
    myself than Ryan. She is a bright light in a dark day, she inspires, motivates and is a blessing
    to all that know her. Each time I see her I am more amazed at her attitude and her physical
    beauty overwelmes me… She is beautiful inside and out! I feel privlaged to know her and pray
    that God will continue to watch over her and bless her.

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