A Greening Life
Due to work and education and living legally homeless five years after leaving the church ministry, I have called home 43 different locations. The homes have included a small storage room, many houses - only one I owned -, a recovery house -where I was given a room to rent for two years, though I was not in recovery -, two school dormitories, and a tobacco barn - the hermitage in this writing is the barn, which I called Hermitage of Peace.
One house I moved in did not become a home to me, for I never wanted to be there - a house does not mean a home. The consistency, however, of various living sites becoming home was possible, for, early in life, I realized a home that is not a house - not any place located on a map.
This home does not have an address, yet it is here. Where? Where not? And how does a house become a home? Or is a house never a home, only somewhere to experience home, if we allow that to happen?
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I sit inside the hermitage, my dog resting nearby. I hear a duck outside at the pond screeching, calling attention to itself, its place in the great being-of-things. This sound evokes joy. I feel a kinship with this duck and its call. And so do I with the yellow flowers, clouds, trees, hawks, and other birds singing outside the open door in these early morning hours. Yet, all this is, also, thanks to them, taking place inside this hermitage, inside me. Even the hermitage and its open door are parts of this effulgence of Life.
I do not need to go anywhere else to be home, not even outside this door. And I cannot be home apart from these other creatures, only as a part with them. Home is, but do I always see that, as I do sitting with all these sentient beings seen and unseen?
Home is present, not waiting for me to recognize it. Yet, once I recognize it, I see it in all places - the Word is always becoming flesh. I see, then, not merely look. How often have I looked and not seen? I must often return to silence to relearn what it means to see.
Home shows itself and sees itself through our eyes, ears, tongue, nostrils, skin, and, yes, heart. Life meets life through bodies in communion with bodies.
The duck is body, so is its screeching - yet, more. Still, how can I receive that more, if I do not receive the body?
We each have a place, and because we have our place, we belong. Home is another word for belonging. We belong like the duck and its call, and the yellow flowers, clouds, trees, pond, hawks, and other birds in this display of unutterable Grace.
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*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2021
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book is a collection of poems based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.
*The "Word is always becoming flesh" is a reference to the Christian Bible, I John 1.14, where the Word refers to the eternal Christ and the past incarnation. In my words, the Word did not just become flesh, it is becoming flesh.