Learning to be at Home Again


And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.

Wendell Berry (1934 -)

I wasn’t concerned that God would loose track of us because we were moving. I knew he would be waiting for us when we arrived at “The Cottage for Two.” What I didn’t expect was @Wendell Berry waiting for me as well. A Kentuckian, whose families farmed in Henry County, KY. for five generations, I knew him first as a poet. He too had earned a B.A. from The University of Kentucky going on to lead a life of letters.  Berry’s first novel, Nathan Coulter, was published in April 1960, my UK years -1956-59, graduating later. Barry came into my life when I wrote poetry for a time and was even president of the Ky. Poetry Society.  Barry also knew the monk Thomas Merton, another prominent character in my story. I came across the familiar quote I have included here when reading another blog; it was one of those ‘meant to be’ moments.

You have to agree that arriving at the ground at our feet and being home often takes a life time to accomplish. The less familiar lines of Berry’s quote are just as important. It seemed like his welcoming  gift to me. I am grateful that Berry has not forgotten me and wanted me to know…

“It is a journey we can make only by the acceptance of mystery and of mystification – by yielding to the condition that what we have expected is not there.”  A reminder that I must try not to impose expectations on this new home, but wait and see what is in store.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in SFH Reflections and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Learning to be at Home Again

  1. Lois says:

    Your words were exactly what I needed this morning. Like you, I have had to make a change. For the last few months I have been trying to make my new body be comfortable right now. Your message reminded me that I need to give life the time it needs to discover what my new neck will do and not get anxious that I don’t know today.

    • We will share the lessons we are learning from our changing circumstances and see what God has in mind. While figuring that out, I am sending a prayer your way for continued healing and patience. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts after reading the post.

  2. Betsy Nininger says:

    Life is all about change ; much more difficult at various ages and slow to be realized when one is young. I try to dwell on the constants which never change. Love and Faith.

  3. Barbara Williamson (Miniature Book Society) says:

    Dear Stepheny, I so wish I had as profound a response for you as these words of yours and Berry’s have on me. All I can say is that I am closely following your journey in hopes of being as brave and loving and transparent as you are. In you, I recognize a mighty God who loves with such intention.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s