---originally written Easter 2010
Home is, I think, one of the sweetest words in the entire world. The past few days have been spent quietly with Christ, in reverent mourning and joyful anticipation. Now the forty days of prayer and fasting have passed, and in the silent vigil of this night I can feel the world patiently waiting for a glorious Dawn.
Easter is not the only thing that's been anticipated in this house, though, during these past few days. There's a young college chum who came home with me who has a blend of wistfulness and happiness in her eyes, and who falls asleep every night with a soft smile illumining her face. She knows that she is missed, and that going back to school means so much more... it will be going back to Someone.
Watching her makes me feel both young and old. Young, because I smile at every whimsical look that lights up her face whenever a certain subject of conversation comes up... and old because she reminds me of me during the wintry breaks of last semester, when I would fall asleep with a similar gentle contentment, and wait out my days in quiet anticipation. Old because there were a few brief moments of wonder and joy, and though even now some of the fallen petals are stirring around my feet from those breathless days I know that their fragrance is no more than fading memories.
These chilly starlit nights I've spent not so much in happily wistful dreams of the future as in reflection on the past. Orion is as bright as ever above my snow-dusted woods; but the three stars of his belt don't twinkle in the dancing and merry fashion they once did. They flicker as though they are on the verge of suddenly dying. "Already every star is sinking that was rising when I set out."
It's easy to see things from the perspective of the here and the now... to see yourself surrounded with sad and lonely what-might-have-beens and to believe that the autumn has come and the leaves are gold. But the sun is beginning to rise, and yonder stands an empty tomb.
Home is one of the sweetest words in the world. And there is one just as sweet, though it rings with a battle cry as it comes with the dawn: Hope.