Learning to be at Home Again

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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.

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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
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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.

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