Posted by on Jun 23, 2010 in Reflections | 13 comments

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The Homecoming

by Barbara Howes

All the great voyagers return

Homeward as on an arc of thought;   

Home like a ruby beacon burns

As they crest wind, scale wave, soar air;   

All the great voyagers return,


Though we who wait never have done   

Fearing the piteous accidents,

The coral reef sharp as the bones   

It has betrayed, fate’s cormorant   

Unleashed, whose diving’s never done.


Even the voyager of mind

May fail beneath behemoth’s weight;   

Oh, the world’s bawdy carcass blinds   

All but the boldest, rots the sails

And swamps the voyaging of the mind.


But all the great voyagers return

Home like the hunter, like the hare

To its burrow; below, earth’s axle turns

To speed their coming, the following fair

Winds bless their voyage, blow their safe return.


Three times now we’ve met the Johnsons at the airport, three times we’ve gathered with our hearts in our throats, anxious to behold first the son, then twin sons, then daughter our close friends Beth and Jared have  thrice traveled half way around the world to finally hold in their arms. All last week, my thoughts were wrapped up in their epic voyage to Ethiopia where sweet Lucia, tiny Lucia, was waiting for her mother and for her father to bring her home; at night I’d lie in bed and pray for their safety. 

Their expressions were bright, a bit haggard but memorably radiant, when they saw us. It was thrilling to welcome back with cries of , “Oh my goodness! Isn’t she darling?!”, the now seasoned travelers embarking on another brand new chapter of their lives.  ”This is a very significant moment,” I thought to myself, “observing my children, my parents, my nieces, my sisters-in-law, all animated with excitement, reaping the benefits of community, of being interwoven into the weighty experiences, both sorrowful and joyful, of others, the Johnsons specifically – the Johnsons who’ve faithfully attended the births (well, just Beth attended those), baptisms and birthday parties of  my four babies. What a comfort and inspiration they have been to me, to so many of us,  all these years!

Visit the Johnsons’ BLOG (it is delightful, thought-provoking, and soul stirring) to discover more about their  journey. Click HERE to find links to some awfully great posts and poetry.

A very blessed Wednesday to you all!