I wish I could adequately describe my return home last night. Dusty gravel roads and cherished loved ones were clear in my mind. There was the red Ford pickup resting under a shade tree in the middle of a hot hayfield listening with a smile to Nat King Cole and Tom Jones.

I saw horses and cattle grazing throughout the day and, in one moment, recalled the years of playing football and baseball all through the year with my brother and friends. I savored the smell of the barns and the aroma of the fields with an incredible recall. I saw once again the Walker and Thomason houses that were not habitable but rich in history. There is no scenery in life today that compares.

It was an adventure returning home last night just before I went to sleep. It was not bittersweet as for some. It was inspiring as I walked over the land, reflected and recalled my life, and my heart was thankful. There was the recollection of loved ones long departed and others alive today. In less than an hour, I contemplated everything good in my childhood and life. There was no sadness knowing fifty years later, the fences and houses no longer stand, and I now reside hundreds of miles away.

I am grateful for the memories and my return home, but the reality is I never left home or all of my loved ones. I am connected today with my ever-changing life experience as the whole of my life makes me complete.

You and I are the sum of our life experiences. The richness and hope of life are that life never ends; the eternal hope is our collective consciousness will be caught up in the oneness of God. Tonight before you fall asleep, let your mind wander into the richness of your life and the love of God in Christ that connects all of us. (When I go Away)

Photo: Lane Pearman