A Day in the Homeschooler’s Life: I’m Gonna Call it Home
“I’ve been searching for a place of my own
now I’ve found it
maybe this is home
yeah, this is home. . .”
Good music. To be more specific, Switchfoot music. It’s amazing how, even over the buzz of Sunday afternoon interstate traffic and through rattling ear buds, it can still lend itself to deep thoughts.
It was the feast of Corpus Christi, and we were headed home from a weekend at the lake with family celebrating my grandmother’s 75th birthday. After a spankin’ good hotel waffle for breakfast, a wonderful Mass in a beautiful local church and final goodbyes, we were headed home. I was happy. I’d just had one of the most pleasant restaurant experiences of my life at a Pizza Hut where we were the only patrons. It was the best restaurant pizza I’ve ever had and our whole family could relax, talk, and laugh together. (As a general rule we try not to eat out on Sundays and cause people to work, but since it was either that or starving (and being generally grumpy and less-than-amicable), we had pizza).
A feeling of intense gratitude came to me as we tossed conversation around the pizza table for our family and our life together.
In her autobiography Story of a Soul, my patron St. Therese relates the anxieties she felt and prayed about before her pilgrimage to Rome. “I knew quite well that during this pilgrimage I should meet with things that might upset me. I knew nothing about evil and was afraid of finding it. ‘To the pure all things are pure’. (Titus 1:15)”
I wish I could claim my patroness’ level of innocence and say I know nothing about evil, but the sanctuary of our home certainly does provide, like a mother’s womb, safety from the things of the world.
When you’re little, trips are enormous things, looming in the future, ready to burst with glittering glamour and excitement like no other event. Hotel rooms are new worlds. Fast food is the be-all-to-end-all of bliss when you’re happily wolfing French fries with your newest Happy toy thingy in your lap. The possibilities of such weekends to be smack-full of fun is unparalleled, and even now I still feel some of the rush of crushing adrenaline and excitement.
And then, when you get older, you do begin to ‘meet with things that might upset you’-encounters with the world. And it makes you intensely happy to come home. Home to the wonderful normalness of macaroni and cheese after a long morning of schoolwork; of baking banana bread while your older sister and brother duel with light sabers through the room; of Saturday vigil Mass and coming home for tacos. There’s no place like the house on the top of the hill, surrounded by trees.
Because, I realized on this trip, if coming home didn’t mean coming home to a place centered on a life of Grace–a domestic church–the imperfect but wonderful family life where we try to live with Jesus every day, “coming home” would just be moving our bodies to another location, another hotel room. It would be just like any other place on earth.
And I realized something else, as I cruised home listening to “This is Home” through rattly ear buds. Of all the 7.6 hours of Switchfoot music we own, this is the first of their songs I ever consciously heard and one of the ones I least understood, although I thought it was awesome. Its relevance came to me, so appropriately, that afternoon of the feast of Corpus Christi.
While the lyrics express the idea of the title itself, of a first-time homecoming, there’s a feeling of incompleteness of the journey.
“Yeah, I’ve got my heart set
On what happens next
I’ve got my eyes wide
It’s not over yet
We’re miracles and we’re not alone
“Yeah, this is home
Now I’m finally where I belong, where I belong
Yeah, this is home
I been searching for a place of my own
Now I’ve found it
Maybe this is home
Yeah, this is home.”
And the thought of the Eucharist came to me. Jesus. Heaven. Home, in a way that no place on earth ever could be, because the Eucharist isn’t a place, He’s a Person—the Person we were made for. Jesus takes us Home, even while we’re still traveling through this life. And each time I go to receive Him, I want to realize that more and more.
“. . .now, after all my searching
After all my questions, I’m gonna call it home
I’ve got a brand-new mindset
I can finally see the sunset
I’m gonna call it home.”
So listen to “This is Home” today and thank God with me for the gift of the Eucharist and the gift of your home. As Catholic musician Rachel Lampa’s song “Free” says, home is a place “where I’m free, free to believe that He lives in me. . .” He lives in each one of us—that’s our house—that’s the Eucharist. I’m gonna call it Home.
By Clare Therese