From One Sojourner to Another

I am a sojourner on the earth. I used to say it was my grandma’s fault.

When I was young she bought me a subscription to National Geographic. When I saw photos and read about those people in far away places, I was smitten with wanderlust.

Those magazines opened to me the door on the wide world and I wanted to set out.

Thirty years and thousands of miles later, not much has changed. I am a sojourner – a stranger in a strange land – but not because I live in Mexico instead of my native Oklahoma. I’m not quite at home in Mexico, but I don’t quite belong in Oklahoma either.

Every time I go home, I’m reminded of that. Every Christmas, especially. Starting around Thanksgiving, I have nostalgic fits leading up to my departure for Oklahoma.

Then I get home…and it’s not quite how I imagined it. Not that home isn’t wonderful, but it somehow falls short of the anticipation…every time.

Then I found that C.S. Lewis had already explained my letdown better than I could ever articulate. These homecomings are just shadows of a true homecoming for which my soul longs, Lewis writes.

“…They are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”

When it comes down to it, what I really want is to get back into Eden.

I feel the Fall in every sweet ache of my heart for adventure, for love, for home. I hear the whisper of its song in every story where mercy and truth have met one another, where justice and peace have kissed.

I stand just this side of the angel with the flaming sword and my soul groans.

I’m not the first to call myself a sojourner on the earth. Not even close. But as an exile among the exiled, the least I can do is try to put the memories of that true home into words and hum a few bars of that barely audible melody for those who care to listen.