Tonight I sit and watch “The Kite Runner”, a wonderful movie and an even better book. Seeing this has made me homesick. I sit in a small but nice apartment in the Houston area while my family sits in our home in the Phoenix area.
I am homesick, but more than homesick. I miss my family, yes, but I am homesick for my roots. I am homesick for a small town 50 miles South of Pittsburgh, I am homesick for the farmlands of Northern California where my Portuguese immigrant great grandparents lived. I am homesick for a grandfather I never knew. I am homesick for the land they left to come to America. I am homesick for all the places my ancestors called home, not the houses they lived in, but for that place of the heart we call home.
How can I miss places I have never seen, how can I miss the smell of a shoreline in a strange, faraway land I have never experienced in my lifetime? How can I miss the familiar smell of the peat bog when the fog rolls in or the coolness of a familiar stone wall?
My faith teaches me that my ancestors and I are connected with a powerful link. When I stand between two mirrors and look, in one direction my past, in the other my future, I am but one among many, a link in a never ending chain. I see myself in their past and myself in their future, we are as one.
When my wife stands with me together we see a shared path through our past, so many who have contributed to our being here today, so many joys, so many pains. When our children stand with us, they of the past see living proof of why their struggles, their hardships were indeed worth the pain. In the other we see those to come and their yet to form experiences. The questioning look in their eyes asking, wondering who we were, what our ambitions and dreams were.
I see that same, homesick feeling, a desire, a passion for that home in the valley with it’s half buried fort in the back yard, that home in the desert, the place their ancestors grew up, a longing for the stories we did not think to record because we deemed them so insignificant, but they would give all they have to hear and learn from.
Someday when out time here is complete, we will move from the present into the mirror, we too will join their images from the past, they too will feel the tug of our unending and interconnected chain.
We will stand as sentinels of our joined history and future, awaiting that day when they join us again and too, look to a future full of so much promise.