Here’s a paradox about human nature: we look for home in a world where we never feel fully and restfully at home. That paradox explains why even the most settled and contented people have moments when they wonder if they will ever arrive where they most want to be.
Some children’s greatest fears live underneath their beds, and their parents have gotten up many a weary night and gone to their child’s bedroom, flashlight in hand, lifted the covers, shone the light on the dusty floor, and proved, once again, that there is no monster.
When I was a boy, I had a recurring dream about a giant, scowling, and mean-eyed lumberjack.
Years ago, I preached a sermon I still regret: a rambling, ill-focused, and sneering screed of a Palm Sunday sermon in which I took cheap potshots at parades. I talked about out-of-tune bands, out-of-sync drill teams, and out-of-shape military veterans crammed into their old uniforms.
The narrator of one of Alice Munro’s short stories described a middle aged woman this way: “Here she sat and saw her day as hurdles got through. Not much to her credit to go through her life thinking, Well, good, now that’s over, that’s over. What was she looking forward to, what bonus was she hoping to get, when this, and this, and this was over?” (Selected Stories, 1997).