There’s No Place Like Home

The worn letters upon the pillow must have held many a head. After all, the tiny cloth hearts which had once held fast were now curling at the edges, but readable yet were the words stitched on the small rectangular pillow: “There’s no place like home.”

The homey plaids quilting the border of it were reminiscent of days at G and G’s (grandpa and grandma’s) house on the hill. When the final sale of their home took place, whatever was left behind was up for grabs and thus, I grabbed it.

Within our cabin it had remained for years. Now, someone else was going to be renting it for a season or two, and as we closed the door behind our final walk through, I grabbed the small pillow.

Why? Because we were off to see grandma. As Grandpa was now gone, perhaps the pillow could comfort by conjuring up any memory or two.

As we entered grandma’s space with the pillow in hand, waiting for the right time to bring it out, her reaction did not disappoint. The light in her eyes twinkled. When it was lifted within eye range, a smile formed and the delight from the light within soon made its way out into the room for all to see. With a nod of recognition, she tenderly touched the fabric and the words came.

“Do you recognize this?” I gently prodded.

“Why yes, I sure do!” Her voice catching as evidence of the memories it held while she now held it.

Full circle that pillow went from the hill to the cabin to her home now in a town far away. The hands which made it, to those who held fast the softness offered—offered rest for the soul with comfort—which was no doubt the intention of the craftsman who’d sewn it long ago.

I suppose so much of life is like that. We cling not to things so much as the memories those things bring. The seasons of life, the growth spurts, the visitors, the scents and smells of what pockets of love look like are all pocketed within and come out when we least expect it.

Stepping into the familiar erupts with candles lit, a burning fire, a taste of the morsels of food offered and the playing of games. The sights and smells of the pines linger and resurrect that which lies dormant deep within.

So good for the soul it is to make memories and to hold them, each one—as they are, you know—sacred above the din of the white noise covering.

Lest we forget—may we remember Hebrews 3:4: “For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.” May the memories being built by our things be as unto the Lord. Amen.

Kathleen Kjolhaug, OblSB

This article was first published in Theology in the Trenches, a column written by oblate Kathleen Kjolhaug. Posted with permission. Read more articles on her blog, Theology in the Trenches.

Photo: Quilts that were once for sale at Whitby Gift Shop at the Art and Heritage Place.