Many adults never feel like they belong anywhere like they did in their childhood home. Usually going back to the place of childhood memories does not workout either…we are disappointed. I went back to our family farm on the old Pinson Rd, four miles from Jackson, Tennessee. The house was smaller, closer to the road, even the trees in the yard had shrunk, and the hills were lower. “Home” has an incredible draw, but it is elusive-hard to find. Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go home again.”
Our soul longs for a place where we were accepted, where our needs were anticipated, where the weight of the world was not heavy, where we fit securely and comfortably as we did in mother’s lap. Thanksgiving and Christmas carry strong promises as families gather, but although these holidays have their own adult joys, they fail in duplicating the “home” of our childhood. Too often we experience disappointment as family gatherings are plagued by the burden of our unrealistic expectations.
“Homesick”- longing for a return to the specialness of that place of safety and love. In Jesus’ parable that we refer to as “the Prodigal Son”, the young man who left home and ended up feeding pigs in a foreign land “came to himself”. He remembers what life was like at home and how different it was from where he now finds himself. In a real way all of us are like this “prodigal” who wants to go back and get a fresh start at home. We long for burdens to be lifted, to be welcomed as sincerely as the father in Jesus’ story welcomed his wayward son. I think all of us are left with some DNA from Eden. We were supposed to be in a secure paradise in perfect relationships and walk with God in the cool of the evening. That was really our home.
A guest emailed me when he returned to his home in West Tennessee after a four-day stay at Whitestone. He said Whitestone was the only place (other than his home) that he had ever been homesick for.
My goal as an innkeeper is to do all I can to make you feel as safe and comfortable as you felt in your best memories of “home”. In fact, we want to make you feel like you are at your mother’s home, where all needs are anticipated and met; where you were expected when you arrived and missed when you were gone. We could not possibly duplicate your best childhood feelings, but we do want Whitestone Country Inn to be a “Sanctuary for your Soul”, a place that reminds you (at least a little bit) of your best memories of “home”.