Faces on Faith: Homes – of the Heart and of the Soul
Two summers ago my husband and I took the Amtrak Auto Train to Washington, DC to visit family.
It was a great way to eliminate the hectic rush to the airport, the wait time on the tarmac, and the ultimate squeeze into seats not designed for those with long legs.
Our car was put on the train about 2:00 pm. We boarded at 4, had a delicious dinner at 7, were rocked to sleep all night over the miles of tracks, woke up at 7 the next morning, breakfast at 8 and arrived in DC at 9:30 am.
Who could ask for a more relaxing mode of travel.
Of course, also in the mix of traveling by rail are the hours of free time – to read, play scrabble, sketch, study – as well as to gaze out the large window at the sights passing by.
We clicked over the tracks through small towns, large cities, farms, fields, and over rivers. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the tracks in some states are so poorly maintained that at times we could not travel faster than 20 mph.
That did, however, offer time to appreciate the scenery that would not have been possible at a clip of 80-90 mph. Although we’d done this journey by rail before, what I noticed more this time around were the myriad structures that people inhabited along the tracks – and they ran the whole gamut of style, size, and structure.
Small clapboard cottages, apartment buildings, stately old brick mansions, newly-built condominiums, farmhouses, horse ranches, wooden shacks, and some structures so small and seemingly neglected that one wondered if anyone resided there at all – until you saw a carefully tended garden on the side.
Whatever the style or size, each of these abodes was home to someone.
No matter the socio-economic level, each of these structures passing by our train window were the places people called home – those gathering spots where humans come together for food, shelter, and hopefully, love and companionship.
We’ve all experienced many homes in our lives – some more loving perhaps than others, some more memorable than others. But each physical space we occupied – alone or with others – was still our home for a unique space in time.
As I gazed at home after home out the window, I felt a deep sense of blessing to call Sanibel home.
It remains a gift to be part of a city that cares so deeply about the environment, works so diligently to reach out to people in need, and tries to keep the pace of life from becoming over-the-top hectic. It’s also a blessing to see so many people on these islands of Sanibel and Captiva seeking to deepen their soul journeys- whether in churches, temples, meeting rooms…….or even walking along the shore.
Although we may love our place in time right now, our real home is with God – whatever we choose to call that essence beyond our understanding.
As you return to the islands for the season, or as you turn the page of your daily life here as a permanent resident, I hope you take the time to not only enjoy the island you call home, but more importantly, you find new food, new shelter, and new companionship for your soul in your spiritual home.