An Unsettling Hum

The hummingbirds have flown south, but their work here is done.  This is home.  We’ve been eating and sleeping, crying and dancing in this 1920’s cottage for only a year and five months, but it has already started to feel like my second body.

There is a hint of a threat that my family, too, will be migrating south—for how long I don’t know.  I had a dream a few nights ago that we had to sell this old house and move to a suburban home hours away.  It left me uneasy.  Me!  The woman who appreciates the space to breathe, the expanse of sky, and the peaceful energy in the suburbs.  Me!  Who, two years ago, thought moving to the city would be certain misery!

It took the better part of a decade for me to cling to our first home.  Here, it has taken only seventeen months.


Maybe this is the lesson.  Once I have learned to be content, God leads me away to trust him anew.

I have been refreshed by a lovely book this month.  Slowing Time reads as if my favorite instrumental CD traded its notes for words.  It soothes and inspires—like a sunrise in prose.  In the autumn section of her book, Barbara Mahany awakened me to the Jewish tradition of Sukkot.  This year, it began on the calendar the same day it began in my life.  For eight days in the fall, the Jewish people go outside to live (or at least have dinner outdoors) to remind them that God is their only true shelter.

Perhaps this unsettling hum, this undercurrent of uncertainty is just that:  a call to Sukkot.  Maybe I won’t have to physically leave this home, but spiritually I need this reminder:  I am only passing through this world.  I need not hold fast or assign too much meaning to any dwelling here.

This house has been a blessing from God.  He has used it to teach me of His love and provision, but it is not my true shelter.  This city, where I am hemmed in by beloved friends and family, is not my security.  My God is my shelter.  He will be with me always, even to the ends of the earth.

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