Home is more than three dimensions; time is of its essence.
We carry it with us as memory.
But never more so than after frost has sharpened the treeline, leaving branches bare and muffling the greening pastures with scarlet.
The church with the big white roof on the edge of town is home to my family. The sanctuary has covered us during weddings, baptisms, Live Nativities, near sublime cantatas and near chaotic Vacation Bible schools. As behooves a gathering place for fallen man, it is forgiving of rambunctiousness, crayons in the pews, an occasional sucker, and other vagaries in behavior by those our Savior specifically welcomed in Matthew 19:14. " Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
The little children will be coming out of the woodwork on Sunday when parents, grandparents and other generous sorts open their trunks and hand out treats. We'll fill the sanctuary with songs and silliness when the same sugar stoked kids practice the upcoming Christmas program. And, before the afternoon is over, the church will empty into its backyard, where kids and helpers will carve letters into plump orange pumpkins, then march them out to the front yard, where they will be assembled into a coherent verse and brightly illuminated for all passers by.
I feel particularly rooted when I leave church, whether its after a service or taking the trash out to the dumpster after a pancake feed. The vista from the parking lot is a microcosm of our lovely country. Just behind the church is a cow pasture, the inhabitants of which have provided diversion and entertainment for little people ever since our church replaced the stained glass windows with clear glass. Beyond the pasture is Tarkio Home Cemetery where family, friends, and forebears rest and we remember. The bin site and elevator of what I still want to call Tarkio Pelleting is as close to a manmade skyline as we can muster on this rural prairie, but the rolling loess rises gently off the Tarkio River bottom east of town.