A Community of ‘Return’

Why return?  As I ponder September’s theme, I can’t help but wonder…Why Return?

So often our journeys are characterized by our destination. We talk about, and plan for, where we are going and what adventures await us there. The anticipation of the unusual, the enticement of something different, the thrill of the unknown…all of these feelings propel us forward on our journeys…whether they be adventures of the road, the mind, or the spirit.

I rarely have these kinds of feelings about the return trip. Oh, for sure, when I have been away for an extended period, I begin to long for my own bed, and for all of the familiarities of home and hearth. And, I also experience anxiety about neglected chores and all the tasks that await me. Mostly, I feel compelled or resigned to the return, which are very different feelings than the excitement with which I set out.

And yet, and yet…don’t we also experience an undeniable draw to return to our roots, to our senses, or even just to the way things were…to get back into the predictable comfort zone…to be close to the people we know best? Home, the usual, our regular lives, provide our foundation. This is where we belong…the place where we know and are known, where we create and re-compose and remember who we are…where we gather our strength and our energy to set out on other journeys.

And so, we return. But perhaps there is something to be gained by pausing to consider why we are returning. What is it that draws us back? How have we been changed by our journeys, and what new awareness are we now carrying? How might we put to use all that we have learned to make our ‘home’ a more beautiful, loving, and generative place?

In the words of a familiar UU hymn… “Return to what you are, return to who you are, return to where you are born and re-born again.”*   May this, our UFP community, be that place.

Looking forward to being back at home with you,

* – #1011 in Singing the Journey – Words and music by Shlomo Carlebach