OK, so this isn't a 5MF at all, by any stretch of the imagination, in any way, shape or form. But it is something I've been meaning to do for awhile, and so when the topic popped up today, I jumped at it.
At the beginning of this school year, my two oldest were given a writing assignment - to describe a space or a place that made them feel "at home." As a parent of TCKs - kids who often, according to the literature, have a hard time defining a place to call home - I was very interested to see what they'd write. I loved this glimpse into their hearts and minds and beings. Their daddy did, too... reading these essays just about brought him to tears, literally.
So, to use a much cliché-ed quote... without further ado here are Brendan's and Rebekah's essays (and a few recent, favorite, pictures)...
~ by Brendan Wright
I have lived in many places throughout my 16 years, but only a few remain vivid in my mind. Most locations, especially places where I have lived for only a short time, tend to disappear, lost in my memories. However, a few homes remain clear in my mind, places associated with specific memories or formative events in my early life. Places that had an impact on my identity. Homes like my grandpa's.
Whenever my parents drive up my grandfather's black asphalt driveway, memories bombard me. Old and crinkly, a crab apple tree contorts over the driveway. In past falls, its fallen fruit fueled heated battles. At the end of the asphalt sits a garage. Recently rebuilt, this new construction found a spot in last summer's project list. Opening a white screen door, I enter the house through the garage. Aged floorboards creak as I remove my shoes. A short hallway ends near two doors. One leads to the kitchen; the other reveals a staircase down to the basement. Musty, wet and freezing cold in the winter, it has a forbidding air. Yet it too holds a museum of memories. Possessions from my father's childhood find their home in its depths. Retracing my steps, I land on the cool tiles of the kitchen. A wood table lies under the windows. The stains and whorls on its solid surface remind me of my great-grandmother. She used frequent its chairs. That's where she took her insulin shots, handed out treats, and sometimes offered a lap to sit on.
Leaving the kitchen, carpet replaces the tile. I enter the dining room, a much larger companion to the kitchen. Chairs surround the table, the site of countless Thanksgivings. On the other side of the room lies a vent. It served as the finish line for many a race, and a cozy place to sit during snowy months. I follow the wall back to the kitchen but stop halfway, arrested by a closet bereft of a door. Close scrutiny of the doorpost reveals pencil marks: dashes with names and dates. They begin low on the post and climb upwards. The timber remembers me, and other grandchildren like me. We surpass all the marks now.
A brown china cabinet stands near the table. It holds pictures - the portraits of bygone days. Leaving the dining room I step onto varnished oak. I stand in what we call the living room, but I will always think of it as the "Christmas Room." Chairs, a couch and a piano line the walls, whispering of family gatherings from before I existed. The piano sits alone. Memories of duets with Grandma play as windowed sunshine dances along the keys. I will miss that the next time I stay there.
One side of the room waits empty, occupied only during the winter by an evergreen. In the corner, a bookshelf holds more pictures. Faded ones. Books fill the gaps, some of my grandfather's favorites. Two rooms adjoin the living room. A hobby room holds old projects and computers. The other serves as a bedroom. It belongs to my grandpa and to my dad for a time. Shades obscure its windows, inviting in only a few sunbeams. Stenciled deer leap along the walls. They bound over green fields.
My grandfather's house holds many memories aside from mine. Not only does my grandfather live there, but my father grew up there. I spent several of my early years in that house. Three generations have found a home in its walls. Utilitarian at best, this house could use some refinement. However, of all the places I have ever been, it means the most to me. Given the choice to live anywhere in the world, I would choose Grandpa's house.
~ by Rebekah Joy Wright
Matthew 8:20 says "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests." Every living creature has a home. A home shows who we are. If we were a place, our homes would e us. Home does not mean a small brick structure with a door, two windows and boxes of flowers. My home differs greatly from my house. Home is my great aunt and uncles'large log cabin in the middle of the woods in Harrison, Michigan.
There's the hunting ground where my father takes me deer and squirrel hunting in the fall. Acres and acres of surrounding private woods envelope me in a homelike comfort. These woods have the tallest, oldest trees I have ever seen. A canopy [sprawls] far above my head like a cathedral with giant pillars. Leaves form a stained glass window through which sunlight filters to the forest floor in all the shades of green imaginable. With small hidden glades full of purple wildflowers taking you by surprise, it seems like a world out of a fairy tale book. An old forgotten railway runs through these woods, the only telltale sign that man had ever been there.
A golf course called "Devil's Knob" tucks itself in on the border of these woods. My great aunt and her three sisters co-own the lad. Since we are relatives, we can golf for free whenever we want. My great uncle stocks the ponds on the course with many different varieties of fish; we often go fishing there. In the winter we go cross country skiing and sledding on the hills at twilight. Packs of coyotes and herds of deer abound, and they roam the woods and the golf course.
I am loved by everyone, be it my older relations or their four dogs and many cats that live in this home. It is the only place I have every truly desired to live, besides heaven. This safe haven was made for me. When I want to read, I climb the ladder into the loft and snuggle down under a quilt with a good book and a cat or two. During the winter chill, the giant fireplace on the ground floor and an overstuffed sofa warms me to the bone. Walking in the woods, it is easy to praise God for His creation. Lying in the hammock out underneath the trees, I soak up the random bits of sunshine and listen to the wind in the trees. Birds sing, the many wind chimes ring, and bottles hanging in the branches above klonk with a discordant harmony.
My home seems to retain traces of everybody that has ever lived there. Over the years, through easy and hard times, in times of difficulty and prosperity, this cabin has always been someone's home. It reminds me of people that have passed on and makes me appreciate the time I had with them. Home is the place I can most easily commune with my Creator. My home is where I am able to slow down and think without worries. Though I have never stayed there more than a week and only have visited a handful of times; even though I don't know my aunt and uncle as well as I wish, when I go there I feel as if I belong. Fiona Apple said, "Home is where my habits have a habitat." It is in this place that all of my habits are natural. There my habits and I've found our home.
And there you have it... home, as expressed by my two oldest "global nomads."
And now, if you'd like to hop into the fray? Lisa Jo invites...
"Paging all writers- it’s free write time!
This is where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes
writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.
How to Join...?
...set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community...
OK, are you ready?"
Hope to find your link over at Gypsy Mama's!