4th Day of Christmas


Back home again. Didn’t really want to leave my parents’ house – I even put up with The Rack (also known as the guest futon) – but the forecast calls for freezing rain today. So I got on the road after breakfast in a local restaurant and the final search for personal effects.

It was the shortest drive I’ve taken between my birthplace (aka La Cuña) and La Casa de Tontería. Usually it takes 3.5 hours, not including those time distortions caused by seeing the flashback of my life – and that of the driver behind me if it’s a life-flashing double-feature – when an SUV decides to switch to my lane without warning.

This time it took less than 3 hours. And no, I wasn’t speeding. I credit the lack of big rigs. I counted three semis and one tanker, all headed the opposite direction.

I seemed to unload the car in record time, too. Then I sat down and made the grocery list, based on the empty spots in the fridge. And then I sat a little longer and felt that bizarre feeling I often feel: happy to be home but homesick all the same.

The House of Christmas by G.K. Chesterton

There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost – how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.

This world is wild as an old wives’ tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the firedrake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

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