In his novel You Can’t Go Home Again, Thomas Wolfe wrote: “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”
I understand the thought, but the point of this post is to say that we must revisit the times and places of our youth because they explain a lot about who we are today.
It was my 6th grade of school when my parents, sister and I moved to the farm shown in the picture above. It was a dump at the time and most people recommended bulldozing it in order to build something new. But my hard-working parents took their time over many years, put in more elbow grease than most people would, and gradually devoted their time, energy and resources to restoring it to a state that would make its pre-Civil War builders proud.
My parents still live here. Coming to visit is bliss. There is no place like it for my family and me.
It’s good to come back to this home again and again because it is filled mostly with good memories of loving people and happy times. It is a place where solid parents now celebrating their 60th year of marriage instilled Christian values that will last a lifetime and beyond. It is a place that I hope remains in the family for countless years to come.
Not everyone has the luxury of happy childhood memories, much less the opportunity decades later to still visit the place and most of the people that created those memories. But even in the absence of that opportunity, taking time to reflect on our upbringing helps us understand why we love what we love, hate what we hate, fear what we fear, and hope what we hope.
So with apologies to Thomas Wolfe, leap year lesson #123 is You’d better go home again.