Repeat after me: “There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home!” I don’t know who first uttered those words, but I’m sure most of us can remember where we first heard them. They were spoken by the character, Dorothy, in the classic film, The Wizard of Oz. The word “home,” had a very special meaning in that movie, just as the phrase itself often conveys a specific mindset we adopt when we’ve been away from home for just that “little bit too long.” In some instances, it might be just a few days; in others, it might be a year or more, as in Homer’s, The Odyssey. The important thing is that, when we need it most, home is always there.
My wife, Becky, recently returned from a twelve-day sojourn that included eight days spent abroad in Scotland, a place she had always wanted to visit. The remaining days were divided equally, at opposite ends of the trip, with her son, Jared, in their home state of New Jersey.
Upon arriving in North Carolina yesterday afternoon, the second sentence Becky spoke was, “It’s good to be home.” (I will leave the first sentence she said to your imagination. Hint: it was accompanied by a hug.) Scotland was nice—terrific even—for Becky, but after nearly two weeks away, there simply was “no place like home.”
There have been many famous lines written about the topic of home. There was even a movie called Coming Home that dealt with the subject on several different planes. A good deal of literature, whether in poems, novels, or plays has explored the concept and importance of home. Many of us were introduced to these works as students in English literature courses in high school, or in college. The words about home that have always resonated most with me were written by my favorite poet, Robert Frost, in his poem The Death of the Hired Man. They are both simple and profound:
“...Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in."
Unfortunately, for a growing number of people, today, those words often ring hollow. The reasons are varied: divorce, mental illness, death of a partner, loss of a job, or even drug addiction. Regardless, there are too many men and women who find themselves without any place they can truly call “home.” So, although you might be tempted to take yours for granted sometime, always remember Dorothy with her eyes tightly closed, clicking her heels together, and reciting those famous words. Take time to thank God that, like Dorothy, you, too, truly have a place called home. There’s no place like it, I assure you!
Do you have a favorite poem, book, or even a movie about the subject of home that’s special to you? Won’t you please share it with us? We’d love to hear about it.
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