World Behind, Home Ahead

Image by Becka Choat
Image by Becka Choat

The colour, the smell,
the mountain in the distance –
so beautiful – set
me longing to find the place
the beauty comes from, my home.

~ a found poem from
Till We Have Faces by
C.S. Lewis

I’m always especially homesick during autumn, which is a little odd maybe, considering that I was born and have lived all but five years of my life in subtropical Texas, where we typically have two seasons: hot, which runs from mid-April through mid-to-late October, and not-quite-so-hot the rest of the year, with a few treasured days of lovely autumn freshness sprinkled randomly through November and December. There’s also the fact that my family moved a number of times (although within a fairly limited geographical area) as I was growing up, and I was never firmly rooted in one particular location, never really felt that there was a home where I truly belonged.

Now at last, through the grace of God and the work of a good man, I live in a place of my own, a home where I am comfortable and content; and I shake my head a little and smile in wonder and gratitude every time I think about it. But even so, the first cool morning of autumn stirs something restless and a bit dissatisfied in me…

I finally realized the true nature of my malaise a few years ago in Madeleine L’Engle’s words – “We are homesick not so much for something that was, and was lost, as for something that will be, and is to be found.”

C.S. Lewis’s Psyche in Till We Have Faces expresses it well:

It was when I was happiest that I longed most…when we were up there on the hills…with the wind and the sunshine…it was so beautiful…somewhere else there must be more of it.

Becka Choat is a lifelong lover of words who spends many hours each week in a room of her own, writing or reading and drinking coffee. Her book reviews can be found at, and her poetry and other musings at You may also follow @beckachoat and/or @booksbybecka on Twitter.


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