Not long ago, I spoke to someone who said he thinks his spiritual home is in Ghana in West Africa. He’s afraid that if he goes there, he might not ever want to leave. This is, in part, why he has never been. I find this idea of spiritual homes intriguing. Of course, I think he should drop what he’s doing and go there immediately. A love so strong should not be left unrequited. But I get it—things are rarely that simple. And perhaps if he does go, it won’t be what he imagined anyway. Part of our longing for a place, or for anything, is shaped by the story we’ve created around it.
Personally, I have never found my spiritual home in a particular location. Although, I do think I would like the coast of Cornwall if I were ever to visit there.
But, perhaps a spiritual home does not have to be a place. I once told my beautiful friend Catherine that if time and money were of no concern, I would learn to play the cello. Where this notion came from, I have no idea. One day it just popped into my head and burrowed itself in there. It’s the strangest thing. I can’t read music and I’m not particularly musical. Aside from a few piano lessons as a child, I have never played an instrument. I have definitely never played a stringed instrument. I’m not sure I’ve even held one. In other words, this want came completely out of left field and makes zero sense. And yet, here it is, uninvited and knocking at my door, like a distant cousin I never knew existed.
The other night I was watching a T.V. show and one of the characters picked up a violin. I swear I felt my heart say “ping.” That’s right, a similar instrument played by a fictional character pinged my heart. I felt an ache of longing for something I have never done. A feeling almost like homesickness for a place I’ve never been.
I know next to nothing about cellos and learning to play them, but I suspect that the whole endeavor is an expensive one. At this point in my life, I can’t quite justify the time and money. For now, it’s filed away under “Later.”
Maybe we find our spiritual homes in different ways. For some of us, maybe it’s a place. For others of us, it’s a person. Or perhaps art. Or music. Maybe a spiritual home is simply that moment when our soul quivers in recognition of something true and beautiful.