Most seasoned travelers will admit that one of the best bits of a trip is the first night back in our own beds. After spending the last three weekends away, I’m blessing the routine. Each reader will have unique specifics, but mine form a litany:
Oatmeal and scone in the morning, popcorn by the fire at night
The rare confluence of good books and time to read them
A long conversation with a dear daughter
The thinning faux leather of slippers comfortable as cloud
Laundry drying outside on the line in the sun, with its fresh fragrance
Zumba class with a Ukrainian teacher who could deter the Russian invasion with her energy and joy
Meditation on the warm patio, punctuated by the whir of a crimson throated hummingbird
A negative COVID test, signaling, “It’s just a cold. Life can resume as planned!”
It’s always a balance between crawling into hobbit hole seclusion and not hiding our light under a basket. Or as a friend pointed out about the last blog on Jung, sometimes the particularity intrinsic to Christianity can get devoured or diminished by the universality of archetypes.
But Jesus seems to hold the tension: at once transcendent divine and incarnate human in sinew, bone and blood. He was born “while Quirinius was governor of Syria” in Bethlehem of Judea—hard to get more specific. His friends had individual names and unique quirks; his miracles occurred at Cana, Naim, Bethsaida. He taught using seed, leaven, vines and sparrows. Yet he speaks to the whole world: witness art depicting Jesus and Mary in the native dress of Japan, Bolivia, Poland, or Kenya.
He modeled the best of humanity, “both/and”—limited yet vast, particular and universal, now and forever. For those who travel and those who stay home, he guides the real journey: away from fear. The pilgrimage to the center means we needn’t go to Assisi, Mecca, Jerusalem. In our funny, awkward, crazy, sacred selves, we contain worlds.