Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Going Back

I'm not very good at going back! I have lived where I'm living now for nearly two and a half years. When I moved here the place wasn't unfamiliar as I already had extended family living in the area (so there had been many childhood, and more recent visits over the years) and it's not far from where home was anyway. And so now, here is home. I'm happy here, we've settled well here, I love my church community - and the wider community here. And that's funny because I've felt that way before, and a couple of weeks ago I got to spend a day at my old church, in my old town - where I grew up, spent a great chunk of adult life, and where my parents still live. It felt rather peculiar because it's a place of such significance for me... the church where I grew in my faith and found out that God cared about me, a place full of happy memories and people I love and have been loved by. And, of course, it's not just the church - but the many memories (both happy and sad) attached to that place - a (big) part of me was formed there.

The Quiet Day itself provided food for thought by way of the speaker (reflecting on the duties and the joys of ordained ministry) as well as ample opportunities for quiet reflection and time to wander. And wander I did, delighting (with that odd tinge of sadness) in the many times I'd headed out from the back of the church, down the fieldside lane towards the far barn with TeenSon (when he was ToddleSon!) and the children I used to look after. Sometimes to see the newly born lambs, sometimes with friends on a Sunday afternoon wander. It is a time and place packed full of memories - and I find it a moving experience to go back.

It's not the only place either. There are other places I've lived, become attached to, moved away from - and feel somehow sad to revisit despite them being packed with happy memories. What a strange thing. I think I'm good at making 'here' (wherever here might be) home, perhaps that has something to do with it? Perhaps I leave a little bit of my heart in each place - better make sure it doesn't become shrivelled in that case!

Whatever the 'answer' I'll reflect on the words of St. Paul... "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus" because going back can be strange - something I need to work on.


At October 25, 2006 1:34 pm, Anonymous Steve said...

I know exactly what you mean, Chelley. When I visit my parents and friends in the place I grew up in, it feels quite sad - just knowing that it was home once, but isn't now. I have the same problem all round though - I've rarely managed to keep in touch with old school friends/work colleagues.

But, I think your last paragraph nails it. Nice one!

At October 29, 2006 6:05 pm, Anonymous Emma (from the ship) said...

Just read this post... youre *so* like me - right from the tea to life history!!!

I too find it so so strange going back, whether in real life or in my mind. Im not sure why it is - maybe its fear life wont be so good again or something, or a grief that time passes. No idea!

Either way, thanks for the verse at the end!

Hope all is well :)

Emma (another teapot!!!) from the ship of fools :)

At October 29, 2006 7:16 pm, Anonymous chelley said...

So nice to have you both wander by my little teapot. :) It's good to hear that you know what I mean/feel the same.
Haha Emma - it's a bit spooky eh!


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