Archive | August, 2011


29 Aug

The other day Ben and I were out for a walk at night and we went by a stream and I sighed and said, “sounds like home.” His reply, “it is home.” He’s right of course, we were less than a mile from where my teddy bear Frosty lives (which is as good a definition of home as any.)

I know some people who have lived in the same area a large portion of their lives, maybe in that case, it’s easy to say where home is.

I’ve lived here over 5 years. This is where my life is at this moment. It is home.

I lived in Chicago for 2.5 years and it was where I couldn’t wait to get back to when I was traveling.

I lived in Ellensburg for almost 2 years in college, it was my town and I loved it.

Then there was the 20ish years I lived somewhere in Kitsap County WA. This is where I grew up, where I had my first kiss and first heartbreak. Where I learned to drive and read and climb trees and ride a bike. Where each summer I’d hunt blackberries for my mom’s cobbler and jam. Where I stayed up all night talking on the phone to my BFF Zeb and broke my arm at tap dance class. Where I hosted my first NGU event and celebrated Halloween at the church Boo Bash every year.

(if you’re doing the math and you think there’s some time missing, I lived in FL for a short time when I was little)

I have a picture of the Olympic mountains on as the wallpaper on my computer. Looking at the mountains is a bit of zen for me. The picture happens to be ‘my’ mountains, but any beautiful mountain or forest picture will do it. I have a closeup pic of the Unity Village cloverleaf fountain on my phone wallpaper which also is a moment of peace. (It’s the same pic that is the wallpaper for this blog.)

I realized a long time ago that pining over my dear mountains wouldn’t bring more peace to my life, so I don’t. But I can’t deny that I’m connected to the place I came from. Sense memories pop up at all sorts of times, like the other day with Ben when I hear rushing water in the woods, it ‘felt like home.’ Not diminishing this place as being special, but saying that it felt familiar.

Really, I think that’s what feels like home means. It feels comfortable, familiar, there is a sense of belonging.

While Kitsap is a precious part of my life, and I  enjoy visiting, it is not my home, it was. Especially now that my parents don’t live there anymore.

I went to the dictionary, this is what Merriam-Webster had to say:

Definition of HOME

a : one’s place of residence : domicile
b : house
: the social unit formed by a family living together
a : a familiar or usual setting : congenial environment; also :the focus of one’s domestic attention <home is where the heart is>
b : habitat
a : a place of origin <salmon returning to their home to spawn>; also : one’s own country <having troubles at home and abroad>
b : headquarters 2 <home of the dance company>

I find # 3 and 4 to be particularly applicable to what I’m talking about, it is familiar and/or a place of origin. What I said about Frosty earlier is truly as good a definition of what home is for me. Wherever she is, is home. Or as a million cross stitch samplers proclaim, ‘home is where the heart is.’

I just got the new Muppets Green album, another feeling of familiarity mixed with something new. There is a great song sung by Gonzo, one of my favorite lines is: “There’s not a word yet, for old friends who just met… or have I found my place.” Maybe that’s really what all this comes back to, when you find the place, it’s an old friend even when it’s the first time.

Or maybe home isn’t a place at all…

Here’s Gonzo and company:

May everywhere you go, feel like home.




18,000 beloveds

19 Aug

Wow, it’s been a packed couple weeks.

The first week of August was the IYOU event that I helped out with, the first weekend of August was the YOU reunion which I facilitated and the following week was the Next Gen of SEE week. To wrap it up simply, it was two weeks filled to the brim with being surrounded by wonderful folks.

Then as everyone was departing on Saturday, my sweetie Ben and I headed to the Farm Aid concert in KCK. (that’s Kansas City, Kansas)

Farm Aid is an all day affair and we got there part-way through the line up due to other commitments. We had a pretty good perch to enjoy the show and the crowd.

Between acts was a great time for crowd watching, and kept thinking I saw out of the corner of my eye Nick, or Zeb, or John, or Sara, or Dave and Danielle or any of the other folks I spent the last week with. I would then remind myself that they were all on their way back to their homes across the country and not here at the concert with me.

I mentioned this to Ben, and then I said, ‘I see my beloveds everywhere.’

Oh yeah, what a great blog/talk!

I had just gotten to spend time with some of my favorite folks, but does that mean that the guy with the hat just like Dave’s is any less my beloved? Just because I don’t know him? In the spirit of Namaste, the divinity in me honoring the divinity in you, I would say the answer is no. And in the bigger sense, do I need to even know you to know you are my beloved? Again, I vote no.

The quality of the music we heard was mind-blowing, no doubt, but my favorite between the music performer was Jason Mraz. The first thing he said was hello family. I’ve heard my fellow youth ministry leaders say this, but to hear a well known musician say this to a stadium of fans warmed my heart especially when he followed that with introducing his on stage companion as his brother by choice.  He then sang “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” as a reminder of what Farm Aid is about, taking care of our neighbors.

While I made this grand revelation, that I see my beloved everywhere, the general energy of the whole concert was in that same vein, supporting farmers and each other. What if we could all see each other all the time that way, as our neighbors, our beloveds, someone to help out and do what we can to support.



Maybe for Willie Nelson and company throwing a big concert every year to raise awareness and money is the way to make the world a better place, and no doubt that it helps, and while throwing a concert big enough for 18,00 people to show up may be in my future plans, I’ll focus on what is do-able right this moment.

So that is my challenge to myself and all of you. See your beloved in everyone and help out how you can.

Til next time my beloveds,


PS (Neil Young would want me to remind you to buy local and organic)