Thursday, October 09, 2014

Missing Home...One of Them

"...[I]t is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly." ~Mr. Rochester to Jane Eyre
I believe in collecting homes. Not houses or places. Homes. For me, a place becomes home when I have deeply connected with people in that place. Relationships are the key to my homes. Michigan, southeast Michigan in particular, has been home for some 30+ years. Friendships have waxed and waned, but the past ten years have been particularly rich so when we moved here in July it was painful to say good-bye. Another home is one I carry with me whenever I have my core family; Kraig and the kids are home no matter where we are. Here in Guadalajara we have each other, so we have a home, even when there aren't pictures on the walls and I don't have all my comfort-tools to work with in the kitchen. We are starting to put down little tendrils as we meet people here, and I pray that there will come a day when I can say that Guadalajara itself is one of my homes.

Last year at Hutchmoot each person was given block to color
with specific color instructions. Then all the pieces were
compiled to create this beauty, which captures the many
personalities of the Rabbit Room.
Another home I have had since 2012 is physically located at a small church in Nashville, Tennessee, where every Fall a group of about 200 meets for Hutchmoot. I could spend a blog (in fact I have) trying to explain Hutchmoot, but in essence it is a gathering of people from all walks of life who love to look at how God works through His creation, particularly through the arts. Most of us connected through The Rabbit Room, a blog started by author and singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson, but in the past few years the online connection has become a vibrant community that often "meets in real life" whether at the annual Nashville conference or anywhere two or more "Rabbits" are gathered.

I went to the conference with my sister Carrie in 2012, and while we both attended again last year, I chose to go as a volunteer to work in the kitchen (because food is one of the arts of the conference, too--yummmm). Between those years we got more involved in the online group, deepening friendships, and it's been amazing to watch where it has led. Carrie is now in North Carolina because of connections made. I sometimes wonder where I would be if I hadn't stumbled on The Rabbit Room a year after Keren died. The connections I made through this group have helped me grow spiritually, and have helped me put words to thoughts and feelings I couldn't express before.

It is a group of folks who share honestly about wounds, lift each other up in prayer, and encourage with ridiculously hilarious conversations and wit. It's the kind of nerdy place where people start off with a comment thread of introductions that somehow devolves into an intense discussion on Meyer-Briggs personality traits and how we remember who we are based on what Star Wars or Harry Potter character our traits tied us to. It is the kind of community where you long to see each other in person, but find your heart beating and knees knocking every time you are about to meet because a part of you fears that this time the connection won't be there. But it always is. Every Hutchmoot brings refreshment, and while it is always sad to leave it, there is a renewed energy to take the riches found and spread them to other friends and family. I've been able to do this in Michigan (Totato Soup anyone? Slugs & Bugs?), and I'm looking forward to spreading the wealth here in Guadalajara.

Gathering in the sanctuary at Church of the Redeemer
I am missing the personal connection as many of my fellow Rabbits gather this weekend for Hutchmoot 2014. It's a physical pain--I can feel the cord stretching between me and my friends there and I can't help but fear that it might snap. I skipped the final line of the quote from Mr. Rochester, "As for you,--you'd forget me," because I refuse to be forgotten or to think that I will be. It is a home that I don't want to forget, and a home in which I always want to have some part. I see, too, it is home because it is a taste of my future permanent home. And knowing that, I realize I have nothing to fear. The cord will stay strong and I will never be forgotten.


  1. Anonymous10:08 PM

    Amen! I'm with you on this one, Loren. I was just looking at one of your sister's Hutchmoot photos on Facebook, and my eyes welled up because I'm not there... but then I remembered that I have heaven to look forward to! And it was consolation to me. :)


  2. Anonymous10:28 AM

    Bittersweet! I love the way you describe home. That is my heart exactly. ~ Pam